Osso Bucco

Life is all about accessories.  Be the perfect accessory to complete an outfit, the perfect app or the right pot to cook with.  It makes a huge difference. 

Our beach house is missing an essential pot, a Le Cruset (dutch oven) for slow cooking.  Any slow cooking done out here is generally done on the grill during the summer.  I didn't realize it until we brought the ingredients for osso bucco home this afternoon.  The good news is that I have an extra one in the city that will be making an essential move to the beach on the next ride out.  The bad news is, I had to be creative on this one.

I found the largest and deepest pan I had that could fit in the oven. Unfortunately, the pan had to be covered with tin foil because I did not have a lid.  There was also so much liquid in the pan that I needed to let the osso bucco hang out on the stove for a bit with the tin foil as a make shift lid.  It wasn't working for me, so once the liquid got below the level where I knew I would end up spilling the entire thing on the floor, I moved it to the oven.  The sauce was a tad thick, the veal was like butter but all and all, not my best.  Regardless, I do like the recipe and am sure it will work perfectly fine if I went about it the way you are supposed to.

Osso Buco for 4

4 large veal shanks
4 ounces of pancetta, chopped
1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper
1 onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
one lemon's zest
2 cups of beef broth
2 cups of white wine
28 ounces chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig rosemary
Spice pouch or cheesecloth

Preheat oven to 350.

In a dutch oven, heat the pot on the stove and toss in the pancetta.  Let the pancetta cook at a medium heat until crispy.  Take it out with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Leave the fat it created in the pot.

Dip the veal chops into the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.  Brown the sides in the dutch oven.  You might need to add a little bit more olive oil to the pot before doing that if the pancetta did not create a lot of fat.  Once they are browned, set aside

Put the onion, carrot, celery and lemon in the pot and saute until soft and just starting to brown.  Then add in the liquids and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and then simmer.  Everything should be completely mixed up.

Add the veal, the pancetta and the herbs.  Put the herbs in a spice pouch so it is easy to take out in the end.  I prefer it instead of having herbs mixed all over the place.

Put this in the oven at 350 for about 2 hours or until the veal is literally coming off the bone.  Serve on top of polenta.