Ossobuco means comfort food for me (actually, it means “bone with a hole” in Italian, referring to the marrow hole in the cross-cut shank, but that’s totally beside the point). My mother used to cook it back home and I’ve continued that tradition. It’s a dish full of flavors and amazing meat just melting in your mouth. And the best thing about it: It tastes even better the next day. Since I double cooked the dish this time, I managed to caramelize the bone marrow. It was divine.
Ossobuco alla Milanese: Turn cross-cut veal shanks in wheat flour, salt them and fry them in olive oil and butter until golden. Remove the fried shanks from the pan and repeat until all shanks have been fried. Fry chopped carrots, celeriac, yellow onions and garlic in the dripping until they start to soften. Add chopped tomatoes and the the meat. Pour with white wine and water and season with salt, black pepper and Italian herbs. Slow cook until the meat falls apart. That’ll take some three hours or so.
For a neater assembly, I removed the meat from the bone and divided it into smaller pieces in accordance with the meat structure. The veggies and the liquid, I blended until smooth.
Bramata: Steam the bramata until al dente. Salt and stir in a generous dollop of butter. The polenta should be creamy, so add more water at this stage, until the texture is right. Add grated Parmesan cheese for optimal richness.
Gremolata: Finely chop parsley and garlic and mix it with lots of lemon zest, some lemon juice and olive oil. Taste with fleur de sel.
Roasted tomatoes: Slowly roast cherry tomatoes for one hour at 150°C.
Steamed heirloom carrots: Peel and cut heirloom carrots into coins. I used purple, amber and white ones. Steam until al dente and season with fleur de sel.
Parsnip chips: Finely slice peeled parsnip, for instance with a mandoline. Drizzle with olive oil and fleur de sel. Let dry in the oven at 180°C. The oven time depends on the thickness of your chips, so make sure to stay close by.
I served this dish as the main course at our dinner for fourteen.
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