It went together very easily and smelled incredible as it cooked. Sophie kept coming into the kitchen with her nose pointed towards the stove and sniffing the air like crazy. For that matter so did Jim!
I made some instant polenta to go with the dish, but really would rather try to make it the old fashioned way next time. This polenta, on it's own, didn't taste fresh. But once we poured some of the osso buco sauce on top, it tasted much better. Hell, stewed skunk would have tasted good with the sauce. It was rich, hearty and bursting with flavor. I think we dunked about half a loaf of bread into it. We also has some Brussels sprouts on the side.
I didn't make the gremolata as I realized too late that I didn't have all of the ingredients, but it really wasn't missed. The dish was so amazing and one recipe I will happily make again.
OSSO BUCO WITH GREMOLATA – by Tyler Florence
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces of veal shank for osso buco
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lemon, zest peeled off in fat strips with a vegetable peeler
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bottle dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1 (141/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 anchovy fillet
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Get in the habit of always tasting your flour; once it coats the veal it is harder to adjust the seasoning. Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the veal shanks, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Using the same pot, sauté the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed.
Nestle the veal shanks back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1.5 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the veal tender and nearly falling off the bone.For the gremolata, mash the pine nuts, anchovy, and garlic together in a mini chopper or with a mortar and pestle. Fold that into the orange zest and parsley. Scatter the gremolata over the Osso Buco before serving.