Shanks for the memories
Osso buco (veal shank)
Hosting a party these days means more than giving your guests a hearty meal to remember.
The consummate host is one who delights her guests with a dinner that is Instagram-worthy.
Here is a solution if you are having a get-together with your friends for a New Year's feast.
Osso buco, or veal shank, is easy to prepare and a fairly attractive subject for social media snaps.
It is prized for the gelatinous bone marrow which is flavourful and not to be missed.
It is a little pricey, but hey, it is a special occasion after all.
I added soave, an Italian dry white wine to the dish, which I got at the supermarket for under $25.
I prefer a thick gravy, but if you don't mind, you can even skip the steps for reducing the gravy.
But don't skip the gremolata, an Italian condiment made from parsley, lemon zest and garlic. The fresh bright zing complements the osso buco and keeps it from being cloying.
Watch this space next week for a special pineapple tart by a guest chef, and find out how you can get tickets to a masterclass on baking pineapple tarts.
- 1kg veal shanks (osso buco)
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
- 1 can of whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 flat tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp plain flour, sifted (for thickening gravy)
- 100g plain flour, sifted
- 200ml dry white wine
- 200ml chicken stock
INGREDIENTS FOR GREMOLATA
- 50g flat leaf parsley (Italian parsley)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- l Dash of cracked black pepper
METHOD FOR OSSO BUCO
1. Place veal shanks on plate. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a little black pepper on each side. Turn over and season again. Leave to sit while you prepare the soffritto.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a heat-proof casserole or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and sauté for a minute. Add the carrot and celery. Saute until the vegetables are softened.
3. Add the two bay leaves. Turn off the heat and leave on stove (A).
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Dredge the veal shanks in flour (B).
5. Place veal shanks in frying pan. Allow to brown on one side. Turn over to brown the other side. Turn the heat down (C).
6. Pour in the dry white wine. Stir the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
7. Transfer the veal shanks and cooking juices into casserole, arranging them in a layer on top of the soffritto.
8. Add the chicken stock and whole tomatoes (D).
9. Cover the casserole and place in an oven at 160 deg C for an hour.
10. Remove the casserole, turn the veal shanks over, gently stir in tomato paste.
11. Cover and place it back in the oven to cook for another hour.
12. Transfer the veal shanks onto another plate.
13. Place casserole containing remaining cooking juices onto the stove over low heat.
14. Allow the gravy to thicken and add 2 tablespoons of sifted plain flour.
15. Pour hot gravy over the veal shanks and serve hot with gremolata.