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Chris Amirault

Ossobuco -- eG Cook-Off 44

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So you're a gremolata fan? I didn't make any this time as you can see. I'm sort of split on the matter; it seems a bit like gilding the lily (and I think Hazan agrees).

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I think gremolata is what makes the dish stand apart. Something noticable. It's not necessarily something you'd miss but it does elevate it into something more than a standards braise (I guess that's the textbook definition of "guilding the lilly" though).

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The World's Toughest Critic tried her first risotto milanese:

Kevin, what a beauty she is. Wait until she realizes what an amazing cook her daddy is.

Oh, and the dinner looks fantastic too. I have some shanks in the fridge right now, it's one of my favorite meals to make.


Edited by Shaya (log)

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I bought the veal shank (2 pieces, total weight just over 2# at $29, Whole Foods, Baton Rouge). I usually just wing osso buco and have the meat almost but not quite falling off the bone. However, I was just reading a really old cookbook from Julia and she specifically states that the meat should not be cooked until it is falling off the bone and she cooked it as part of a family menu.

I guess that somewhat changed over the years since -- or has it always been this way and I've just been overcooking the dish ??

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Kevin, what a beauty she is.  Wait until she realizes what an amazing cook her daddy is.

Oh, and the dinner looks fantastic too.  I have some shanks in the fridge right now, it's one of my favorite meals to make.

Thanks! Let us know how your dish turns out.

As for the cooking and reheating questions asked, I'm not scientifically astute enough to answer these but I'm sure Chris and/or Samuel will probably chime in here shortly with some answers.

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No scientist here, but I'd suggest separating the sauce elements from the proteins, heating the sauce thoroughly and independently on the stovetop, and then reheating the meat gently in the sauce.

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Chris, your method for reheating is precisely what Paula Wolfert suggests. Further, she advocates separating the meat from the liquid before refrigerating and sealing the meat tightly. Paula does note that once you add the meat back into the warmed liquid, you can either heat on the stove or in the oven.

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This dish has been a favourite of mine for many years.

We have our own cattle so when a steer finds his way into the freezer there is always plenty of Osso Buco.

I don't use veal for obvious reasons. This steer was 2 years old. In future I am going back to 9-12 months.

This dish is obviously all about the sauce, which largely means it is all about the tomatoes.

As it is the end of summer here there is a surplus of fresh ingredients to be found within 50 metres of the back door. I think there are about 9 different varieties of tomato in this, prepared a number of different ways.

Firstly we have the leftovers from breakfast.

Sliced in half and sprinkled with dried and fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil and heated in a slow oven for a few hours.

tomatoes.jpg

Then I browned the meat in ghee in a frypan.

I fried a finely chopped large onion and a leek and 3 large garlic cloves in olive oil in the pan I used to make the dish.

After the meat was cooked I fried 2 finely chopped large carrots in the remaining ghee and ground cumin .

Half a bottle of Coonawarra cabernet merlot and about a cup of beef stock, a teaspoon of powdered vegetable stock which I always use instead of salt as it is quite salty, another 6-8 finely chopped tomatoes, about 2 cups of cooked tomatoes (a thick sauce really) a large quantity of basil, a finely chopped uncooked large onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a sprig of rosemary.

With some of the wine I blended 1 can of red kidney beans and 6 anchovies.

Just before it left the stove to spend 2 1/2 hours in the oven at 120C it looked like this;

ossobuco1.jpg

Some comments.

I like to have both browned and raw onion and garlic in the dish. They have distinctly different flavours when cooked in oil and water and I like both.

I like to add legumes to my sauces. I find they not only add thickness but they improve the depth of flavour.

This is the first time I have fried the carrots in cumin first. I like the result and will probably do it regularly from now on.

I served the Osso Buco with roasted potatoes and shredded beetroot and broad beans steamed in the pressure cooker with garlic and butter.


Edited by Michael B (log)

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We had "bone hole" last night, and I must say, it was the perfect slow-cooker meal for a cold Friday night.

The meat was dusted with seasoned flour, pan-browned in olive oil, then placed in the electric crock pot. The aromatics were soften a bit in the same pan, combined with chicken stock, then added to the crock. I defrosted stock from the freezer and just before dumping it in, I realized it was seafood stock -- oops. It amazes me how odorless frozen stock can be, I very briefly considered using it.

Instead of peeling and seeding tomatoes, I pureed three small romas in the blender. I didn't use wine, but I did make some awesome gremolata with the flat parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, cracked pepper and crunchy sea salt.

gallery_42214_6390_9503.jpg

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Gotta throw my hat in the ring! Everyone else's preparations look simply divine.

We made osso bucco using Marcella Hazan's recipe from her Essentials of Italian Cooking. It came out delish: we served with some simple sauteed kale and collard greens and a bit of cheesy polenta. Just about my favorite Italian dish.

ossobuccodone.jpg

ossobuccoplate.jpg

You can see a sort of step-by-step at my website: Teenage Chowhound

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I made Osso Buco last week following Bugiali's recipe (sort of). Once cooked, however, I sorta massacred the shanks, and ended up turning it into a more conventional stew-like think (breaking up the veal into small pieces). I left out the gremolata, and served it on egg noodles, with petite peas. It was actually very good this way, despite being about as far from traditional as you can get. The peas in particular went very well, I thought.

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I have a small quantity of highly-reduced homemade veal stock in the freezer which I've been saving for the right dish - would this be it, or would it be overkill? I also have some rich chicken stock on hand, plus some liquid consisting of red wine & beef drippings flavored with garlic, thyme and rosemary. I'm leaning towards the chicken stock plus a bit of the wine/beef liquid and saving the veal stock for something where it can really shine.

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phatj - Yes I think it would not be the best use of a lovely rich stock. The shanks are going to release lots of gelatin on their own. Let us know how it goes. This is one of my favorite winter comfort meals.

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Verdict: awesome. No pics unfortunately. I did screw up the risotto though; the flavor was good but it was a gummy mess.

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Verdict: awesome. No pics unfortunately. I did screw up the risotto though; the flavor was good but it was a gummy mess.

Awesome is good :wink: I do not personally care for risotto with occo bucco. The sauce is so unctuous and lovely I prefer something simple as the sauce vehicle like bread, boiled potatoes, plain rice or plain pasta. Did you do gremolata?

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Yes, I did make gremolata and stashed it in the fridge and then completely forgot about it when I served it. It did go on the leftovers for lunch today though and was even more delicious.

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On 1/7/2009 at 6:10 PM, Maureen B. Fant said:

No. The marrow stays in the ossobuco till the diner scoops it out and eats it, possibly spread on a piece of bread. The idea that Marcella would remove it from the ossobuco for another use is what amazed me. This is possibly because she felt Americans wouldn't eat it in the ossobuco anyway, but in that case, they are unlikely to remove it from a yucky raw bone and make risotto. So I dunno. But yes, you do keep it in the ossobuco the whole time.

 

Sorry for 'necroposting', but my-oh-my how things have changed since this post was made... Internets and Youtubes are full of videos on eating marrowbones*, and marrow spoons and fancy smears and whatnnot. IMHO, one of best things about beef broth was an obligatory piece  of marrowbone used in cooking- shake out the marrow while piping hot, eat it on white bread with nothing but copious amount of sea salt sprinkled on top. Simplicity and perfection in one bite.

 

I'm currently preparing for cooking ossobuco and am swinging back-and-forth between three recipies- one from Hassan, and one 'local'. The third one would be 'mine'. I notice that both recipes call fro stewing or sauteeing mirepoix and adding floured shanks. The most recipes I've made call for browning the meat first (I've also seen some ossobuco recipes do it that way) to get the good sear, and the water released from sweating mirepoix does the deglazing. I think I'd prefer the better sear of the latter method (and I'd think fouring the shanks indicates it's quite desireable)- should I tamper with it at the first step???

 

Another concers is that I will be able to get steer shanks (haven't seen much oxshanks around, while veal shanks are 'reserved' for local speciality called peka* and are considered undersized for proper ossobuco). Bovine meat in my country comes in three grades- veal (age up to 8 months, exceptionally to 12 months), steer (12-24 months of age) and beef (latter being haredest to get of all). Rcipes call from anywhere between 1½ cm to 1½"  thickness- I would lean towards 1" cuts to maximize Maillard reaction on main shank surfaces and allow a bit  of unrendered fat to keep the slices moist during braising. I'd like a bit of this 'middle section' fat, as well as intermuscular fat to be flavouring agents (I'm not sure if I'm getting this accross- but I feel the beef fat absorbs the flavour of the sauce and intensifies it while eating**), so I'd go for two main surfaces of each piece to get 'Maillarded' (while the rest is more of slow cooking e.g. stewing meat, as opposed to braising effect). I think gellatin effect would overwhelm the Maillard?


peka' is aort of inverted dutch oven- wih meat and veggis being cooked under a dome billt with burning cols around the edge... regardless of the mastery of the cook, this dish replicates wonderful results, regardless if the main ingredient be the beef shank or octopuss- soehow the misture of tatters ans various mirepix vegetables find a perfect ballance with the meat

 

And as for carbohydrate of choice... I0d have to choose beteeen the two- polenta and the rice. Properly made polenta will absurb into the sauce while cooking in the rice would make the rice absorb all of the sauce goodness into itself. I'd say- first run at the table will be polenta, while last will be the rice.... I cannot think of the better way to absorb all the flavours, and all the trouble that went into making that sauce, other than adding a cup of water... and haf a cup of rice to soak it all up. (actually, I'd think of it as third of a cup of rice, but here we go into measuring and standards, and imperial vs. metic all again....and I give up... give to it all the best, and try your best). :)

 

* the perfect example would be Peposo- copious, and I mean *copious* amounts of pepper in the sauce are somewhat suspendd in the fat (esp. if the short.rib is used), producing heavenly mouthfeel despite what the 'calculus' of the mixture

peka.jpg

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