Showing posts with label great osso buco quest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label great osso buco quest. Show all posts

Friday, January 28, 2011

Osso Buco a la Milanaise from Emeril for January's "Great Osso Buco Quest"

Last month I declared that I would celebrate my love for osso buco, that meltingly tender dish of braised veal shanks by having a monthly throwdown of sorts. Starting with the Food Network, I am making an osso buco each month to determine my favorite. I also said I was coming up with a rating and ranking system, however my week got crazy with meetings plus writing and giving a large presentation today. I am tired to the bone and so the rating system will come next month. For January's selection I decided to go with Emeril's Osso Buco Milanaise. Emeril has several osso buco or osso buco-related recipes on the Food Network site. This one seemed simple for a busy week and outside of the veal shanks and fresh pasta, I had all of the ingredients in the panty and fridge.

You can find the recipe at The Food Network here.

Osso Buco a la Milanaise
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
(Makes 6 Servings)

2 1/2 pound veal shanks, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick sections
salt and pepper
flour, for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup white wine
1 cup chopped tomatoes, with juices
3 cups brown stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 garlic cloves
chopped parsley and lemon wedges, for garnish

Generously season the veal shanks on all sides with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly in flour, shake off excess. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the shanks on both sides until golden, you may need to do this in batches.

Remove all the shanks from the Dutch oven, and add the onions, carrots, and celery, cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic. Place the seared shanks back into the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasonings, and serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

Notes/Results: Good--extremely easy and low-fuss to make. Emeril's version is not my favorite osso buco to date. Although, I will wait to rank the recipes next month once I have the official ratings system, I will say that out of the recipes of the 3 other chefs that I have made so far (Mark Bittman, Mario Batali, and Giada Delaurentiis), Bittman still gets first place. Emeril's version was colorful and very tender, but lacked some of the flavor the other recipes had. Maybe more garlic was in order--although I did toss in an extra clove. The lemon added brightness to the dish which helped somewhat and I managed to enjoy it--it's osso buco for Pete's sake--it would be hard not to enjoy it. ;-) Emeril has a few more chances to rate higher with his other recipes as I wok my way through them.

I am sending this freshly-made, slowly cooked comfort food goodness to Roz's weekly event at La Bella Vita. Go by and take a look at all the wonderful recipes and fresh ideas.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mario Batali's Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata & Polenta con Parmigiano for Cook The Books: "Heat" by Bill Buford

For our current Cook the Books selection, our host Johanna of Food Junkie Not Junk Food has brought us back to the restaurant kitchen in Bill Buford's entertaining look at restaurant life in "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures As Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany." Buford, an acclaimed writer and editor for The New Yorker, leaves his position for what starts out to be a 6-month "extern" or kitchen slave position in Mario Batali's Babbo restaurant. Suffering for his new-found "art" with cuts, burns, exhaustion and ridicule, Buford quickly finds himself immersed in the kitchen, quitting his job and working full time, then moving on to Italy to discover the secrets behind pasta-making and butchery. "Heat" is a rollicking and mostly humorous ride through the back of house with all of the gory details.

Besides learning about the restaurant business, we learn (more than I ever wanted to know) about Mario Batali, from his early days, to his life of excess and his rise to masterchef and restaurateur. Having the perception that Batali was the mild-mannered, orange-Croc wearing, slightly prissy and precisely speaking chef from his television programs, the book is eye-opening and slightly discomforting. "Bad Boy Chef" works well for Anthony Bourdain, but with Mario Batali it seems strange and slightly creepy. ;-) I did enjoy this book, although for exposing the back of house of the restaurant world, Bourdain still gets my vote for #1.

For my dish, I went with inspiration from two sources--my heart and Mario Batali's calves. Osso buco is one of my very favorite dishes ever, and British mega-chef (and another kitchen bad boy) Marco Pierre White had a colorful description of Batali, who worked as White's kitchen slave in the early days of his career. From the book: "I will never forget him," White said, when I met him in London. "He has f*#@king (that's my edit it's a PG blog folks!), big calves, doesn't he? He should donate them to the kitchen when he dies. They'll make a great osso buco. If he walked in today, and I only saw those calves, I'd know it was Mario."

I chose Batali's own Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata, served with his Polenta con Parmigiano (Polenta with Parmigiano). (Buford devotes most of Chapter 14 in the book to polenta--so it seemed fitting, although I did the quick cooking kind, not the stir for 40 minutes or slow cook for 3 hours kinds Buford talks about.) Together it made a delicious comfort food meal.

The recipes can be found at Food Network here (osso buco) and here (polenta)

Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali
(Makes 4 Servings)

4 veal shanks, cut three inches thick (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, chopped into 1/4-inch-thick coins
1 small Spanish onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 celery stalk, chopped into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
1 recipe Gremolata (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Season the shanks all over with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed 6 to 8 quart casserole, heat the olive oil until smoking. Place the shanks in the pan and brown all over, turning to get every surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the shanks and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the carrot, onion, celery and thyme leaves and cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Place shanks back into pan, making sure they are submerged at least halfway. If shanks are not covered halfway, add more stock.

Cover the pan with tight-fitting lid of aluminum foil. Place in oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours and cook until meat is nearly falling off the bone.

Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving with Gremolata.

Basic Tomato Sauce
Courtesy of Mario Batali
(Makes About 4 Cups)

1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 ounces virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried leaves)
1/2 carrot, shredded finely
2 (28-ounce) cans of tomatoes, crushed and mixed
salt to taste

To Make Tomato Sauce:
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until translucent but not browned. Add thyme and carrot, cook 5 minutes over medium heat and add tomatoes. Bring to boil, lower heat to just bubbling and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata
Courtesy of Mario Batali
(Makes 1/2 Cup)

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted under the broiler until dark brown
zest of 1 lemon

Mix the parsley, pine nuts and lemon zest loosely in a small bowl. Set aside utnil ready to serve.

Polenta con Parmigiano: Polenta with Parmigiano
Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali
(Makes 4 Servings)

5 cups of water
1 cup quick-cooking polenta (use yellow or white)
8 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring the 5 cups of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Whisking constantly, add the polenta in a thin stream until all is incorporated. Stir with a wooden spoon until as thick and dense as cream of wheat.

Portion polenta into 4 warmed serving bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons of cheese.

Notes/Results: Tender, flavorful, delicious. This was my first experience cooking with Mario Batali--I just never found a connection with him before, but I gotta say that the man makes a mean osso buco. This is the tomato-based version, more classic than some of the others (Bittman's, Giada's) I have posted before. It starts with Mario's Basic Tomato Sauce (Bonus is that it calls for two cups, leaving me an extra 2 cups to use in another dish). The veal shanks (BTW: unfortunately veal shanks, and especially large, meaty shanks are not that easy to come by here so the ones I bought were probably more Bobby Flay calves-sized rather than Mario Batali calves-sized), are browned and then cooked with veggies, lots of thyme, the basic tomato sauce, stock and white wine in the oven until meltingly tender, then topped with a gremolata of toasted pine nuts, parsley and lemon. The dish hits on all the best notes of flavor and texture--although a tad more garlic would have worked for me. For the polenta, since it was going under the osso buco, I just mixed the Parmesan into it at the end of the cooking time. It turned out creamy and good, and perfect for soaking up all the lovely juices. I would make both of these recipes again.

On a related side note, with osso buco on the brain I am embarking on a new personal quest, challenge, adventure, throwdown or whatever you want to call it and I intend to work my way through a different osso bucco each month until I find the best one--starting with the Food Network cooks/chefs. I counted 39 different recipes on FN--Emeril, Tyler, even Sandra Lee (scary!) has one. My rules--it must be real osso bucco with veal shanks--no turkey leg osso buco, no osso bucco "stroup" (Rachel Ray that means you!), etc. I will post more on it next month including a rating system and the current rankings on the ones I have made so far. ;-)

The deadline for this round of Cook the Books, is Friday, December 3rd, if you have read "Heat" and want to sneak in a quick entry. Otherwise, join us next month when we journey to Japan with Rachel, The Crispy Cook when we read "Untangling My Chopsticks." Not familiar with Cook The Books? It's the best bi-monthly, virtual foodie book club out there (OK, as Johanna and Rachel's CTB co-host, I may be slightly prejudiced). You can get all of the CTB details here and check out our next three books here. Hope you join us!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Giada's Easy Osso Buco & Smashed Parmesan Potatoes: Favorite Fall Comfort Food

It's Fall Favorites week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--time to pick a dish that represents the season. For me, fall means heavier, heartier comfort food fare and no dish says that better to me than osso buco. Tender, meaty shanks that fall off the bone in a rich sauce--what could be more comforting? I decided to try Giada's recipe for Easy Osso Buco and serve it with her Smashed Parmesan Potatoes, both recipes are from "Everyday Italian" and together they make a perfect fall comfort food meal.

The recipe can be found in "Everyday Italian" on pages 180-181

Giada says, "Osso buco is braised veal shanks. The fabulously flavorful veal shanks are cooked for a long time, making the meat so tender that it literally falls off the bones. I'm not sure why, but I think people are afraid of this dish; maybe they're intimidated by the unfamiliarity of veal shanks. But it's really easy to prepare and just needs a couple of hours to cook, while the fragrant aromas fill your house and maybe even tempt the neighbors to ring the doorbell to find out what's cooking. The perfect dish for a rainy Sunday."

Be sure to have kitchen twine available for tying the shanks.

Easy Osso Buco
"Everyday Italian" by Giada de Laurentiis
(6 Main-Course Servings)

6 1-to-1 1/2-inch-thick slices veal shank (about 14 oz each)
2 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
about 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pat the veal dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season the veal 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Dredge the veal in the flour to coat the cut sides lightly.

In a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the veal in a single layer, heat the oil over a medium flame until hot. Add the veal and cook until brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a a plate and reserve.

In the same pan, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with 1-teaspoon of salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the veal to the pan. Add enough chicken broth to come two thirds of the way up the sides of the veal. Add the herb sprigs, bay leaf and cloves to the broth mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with foil and transfer to the oven. Braise until the veal is fork-tender, turning the veal every 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours total.

Carefully remove the cooked veal from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut off the twine and discard. Tent the veal with foil to keep warm.

Place a large sieve over a large bowl. Carefully pour the cooking liquid and vegetables into the sieve, pressing the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and return the sauce to the pan. Gently place the veal back into the strained sauce. Bring to just a simmer. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. Place one veal shank on each plate and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with parsley and serve.

This recipe can be found in "Everyday Italian" (pg 209) and at the Food Network here.

Smashed Parmesan Potatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 6-8 Side Dish Servings)

3 pounds baby red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the potatoes in a large pot of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the potatoes to the pot.

Coarsely mash the potatoes with a fork, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in the Parmesan and the oil. Season the potatoes, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes/Results: Rich, savory and with lots of delicious flavor. Osso Buco is a favorite dish of mine to eat and to make. I don't know that I found this necessarily easier than other osso buco recipes, but then I have never found it to be very hard to make anyway. As Giada says, it just takes time to cook, not a lot of effort--the hardest part is smelling it while it is cooking and wanting it to get done faster. I think Mark Bittman's Osso Buco with Gremolata is still my favorite, but that certainly didn't stop me from enjoying this one. ;-) The Smashed Parmesan Potatoes are easy and tasty with plenty of flavor from the olive oil and Parmesan and they paired nicely with the veal and its sauce. This isn't a light meal but we all need a little comfort and indulgence now and then. I would make both of these recipes again.

You can check out what delicious Fall Favorites the other IHCC participants cooked this week by going to the post here and following the links.

I am also linking this to Seasonal Saturday with Roz over at la bella vita since it celebrates the fall season so well. Stop by her blog and take a look at all the wonderful dishes and seasonal ideas this week.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mark Bittman's Osso Buco with Gremolata--A Delicious Way to Get Garlic Breath!

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are all about "The Stinking Rose"--yep, the theme is "Garlic Breath!" Any Mark Bittman recipe that features garlic is up for grabs, so I picked one of my very favorite dishes, the Italian classic Osso Buco. With plenty of garlic in the slow cooked veal shanks, as well as garlic in the gremolata topping, it is a delicious way to get your garlic breath on. Since my usual recipe and also the one I order most often at my neighborhood Italian restaurant both have a tomato-based sauce, I was intrigued with Bittman's sauce which features anchovies, garlic and all the flavor from the marrow of those shanks. Served over some fresh egg tagliatelle from the deli case, it is an easy and oh-so-good dinner--the hardest part is waiting for the shanks to cook while smelling that incredible savory aroma.

This recipe can be found in "Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes From The New York Times" or online at The NYT's website here.

Bittman says, "There is no promise of speed here: osso buco takes time. But this classic Italian dish of glorious, marrow-filled veal shanks (the name means bone with a hole"), braised until they are fork-tender is dead easy to makes and requires a total of no more than fifteen or twenty minutes of attention during it's two hours or so of cooking."

Osso Buco
"Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Recipes from The New York Times"
(Makes 4 Servings)
Time: At least 2 hours, largely unattended

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 center-cut slices veal shank (2 pounds or more)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 or 4 cloves garlic, lightly mashed and peeled
4 anchovy fillets
1 cup dry white wine, chicken or beef stock, or water
2 teaspoons butter, optional

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add the oil, swirl it around, and pour out any excess. Add the veal slices and cook until nicely browned on the first side, about 5 minutes. (For even browning, you can rotate the slices, but try not to disturb them too much.) Turn and brown the other side.

When the second side is just about completely browned, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and add the garlic and anchovies to the pan. Cook, stirring a little, until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic browns, about 2 minutes. Add the liquid and let it bubble away for about a minute.

Turn the heat to low and cover the skillet. Five minutes later, check to see that the mixture is simmering -- just a few bubbles appearing at once -- and adjust the heat accordingly. Cook until the meat is very tender and pulling away from the bone, at least 90 minutes and probably somewhat more; turn the slices every half-hour or so. (When the meat is tender, you may turn off the heat and refrigerate the dish for up to 24 hours; reheat gently before proceeding.)

Remove the meat to a warm platter and turn the heat to high. Boil the sauce until it becomes thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter if you like, and serve the meat with the sauce spooned over it and the gremolata.

Gremolata: Traditionally, osso buco is served with a condiment known as gremolata. To make it mix together 1 tablespoon minced lemon zest, 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, and 1/4 to 1 teaspoon minced garlic (remember this will not be cooked, so go easy on the garlic).

Notes/Results: Oh my--this is a good one! Savory, garlicky sauce over tender, falling apart veal, with the spark of bright flavor from the gremolata. I made four smallish shanks and wished I had double, as it only got better as leftovers. Although I love my usual tomato-based sauce, this was just as good in it's own way--the sauce was very flavorful and rich. I used a good beef stock for my sauce, and basically doubled the sauce recipe since I was serving it over the egg pasta. Not a quick dish, but a perfectly simple one--rich and satisfying. I will definitely be making this again--actually I may have to make it again this weekend--I am already craving it. ;-)

You can see how the other IHCC peeps got their garlic breath this week by heading to the IHCC site (here) and following the links.