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Candelaria's Birthday Osso Buco!

Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend and Sunday! We are loving this weather now in Arizona! It is spectacular and time to get out and get the garden going. Thank you also for all the wonderful birthday wishes last week! We have started a fun tradition now at the Candelarias whereby if its your birthday you are doing the cooking! So…..hmmmm, what to make???

Well one of my favorite dishes is Osso Bucco. Osso Bucco is a dish featuring a cross-cut veal shank braised with vegetables, white wine and broth.  It is then garnished with a gremolata which is a combo of garlic, lemon zest and parsley and served over risotto all milanese. The word Osso Bucco means Osso (bone) with a Bucco (hole) referring to the bone hole that is filled with marrow. I absolutely love this dish and accompanied by a big Brunello and I am in heaven.

So it sounds like this would be another complicated dish but quite the contrary - this is an easy dish that just needs time to cook! For my birthday,  I made 12 occo bucco shanks so I needed three pans. I am going to describe how to make osso bucco for 4 and I highly recommend it for a nice small dinner party at your home. You will blow your guests away. Here we go!

Place 1/4 cup of olive oil or butter or combo in  a Dutch Oven. I like the mixture. While the oil is heating up, season the veal thanks with 1-1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoons of pepper and dredge in the floor to coat. I used gluten free flour so everyone could enjoy. Remove any excess flour by giving the shanks a gentle shake. Shake the shank! When the oil is almost smoking, add the shanks and cook until well browned on all sides - I make sure the edges are browned too. Transfer the shanks to a plate and cover with foil.

Now add the pancetta, celery, carrots and onions to the pan an cook using a wood spoon to scape the meat bits free. Cook the veggies, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft yet still firm and lightly browned about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and remaining salt and remaining pepper and cook for about a minute. Add the wine - you can add red or white - I like red. Stir to combine with the veggie mixture. Now add the crushed or diced tomatoes and beef stock and then return the shanks into the Dutch Oven and get them bathed in the goodness. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for 3 hours or when the shanks are soft and tender and starting to fall away from the bone.

When ready, I take a nice bowl and spoon the risotto or polenta and then with a spatula scoop the Osso Bucco shank and gently place it on the bed of risotto. Then scoop the veggies and gravy/juice and spoon this over the top oaf the Osso Bucco and risotto nd then garnish with the gremolata and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Make sure you open that Brunello in the morning so it has all day to breathe. Serve hot and enjoy!

Candelaria's Osso Bucco

4 - 1-1/2 inch thick veal shanks - about 10-12 ounces each
1/4 cup of olive oil/butter
3 teaspoons of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup of gluten free flour
1/3 cup finely chopped pancetta
1-1/2 cups of chopped onions
1 cup of chopped carrots
3/4 cup of chopped celery
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1-1/4 cups of red wine - use a good one!
1 cup of diced canned tomatoes
3 cups of beef broth
1/4 cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Risotto or polenta - I like tartufo infused risotto with grated parmesan - recipe forthcoming.
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan and fresh lemon zest sprinkled over the top!