Outrageously Good Dinner (with very little effort): Osso Bucco
Yesterday, we took a little family trip to our new grocery store, Mariano's Fresh Market. I am a little bit embarrassed by how excited I was to have this new store open up in our neighborhood, but there you go. I was VERY EXCITED! It's a supermarket, so you can get all of your household supplies, but they also have a terrific bakery, deli counter (they sell Creminelli salami - my former client and maker of the best salami ever), and they feature a nice amount of local produce, with the farm called out clearly on the signage.
Anyway, I'm also a fan of the meat counter. They have some really great looking stuff, including the insane hunk of meat pictured above. Michael grabbed this while I waited for my number to be called at the deli counter. It is called a volcano veal shank (linked here is a great primer on veal shank cuts) and he asked me to make Osso Bucco. Normally, as you'll see if you click that link, you make Osso Bucco with small slices of the shank, but I figured the recipe would work just as well with the mongo one he bought. I was right - SO good.
The recipe came from Epicurious, and was adapted from Tony Bourdain (link here to naughty picture of Mr. Bourdain for those who appreciate that sort of thing). Osso Bucco is a great meal if you are entertaining, because it can all be made ahead, it tastes amazing, and it is really impressive. We served it with some little roasted potatoes, but I would actually recommend serving it over polenta - I think that would be a much better receptacle for the yummy sauce you'll have.
One enormous veal shank or cut up, osso bucco style shanks (one per person if you do the small guys)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups dry red wine (we used a pinot noir)
2 cups veal demiglace or chicken stock (i used one cup of each - I found the veal demiglace at the supermarket in the freezer department)
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, smushed up a bit (i used a quart jar of homemade canned tomatoes from my father-in-law)
1 bay leaf
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly dust the shank(s) with flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven (I used my trusty Le Creuset), and brown the shank(s) on all sides over medium/high heat. This should take about 10 minutes total. Remove the browned shank and place on a plate. Add the butter. As soon as it melts, add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute for about 8-10 minutes until the onion softens up. Add the red wine, stirring up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Then, add the stock, tomatoes, and bay leaf and place the shank(s) back in the pot. Bring up to a boil, then cover, and place into the oven for 2.5 hours.
Remove from the oven when done and take the shank out, placing it on a platter to rest (cover it with foil). Place the pot with all of the sauce in it on the stove over low/medium heat and let it reduce for about 15 minutes. If there is a ton of fat, you can skim some off at this time.
Serve the meat with sauce spooned over top. Enjoy!