lundi 23 avril 2007

Ossobuco alla Milanese

Ossobuco alla Milanese is a dish from Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region of Italy. The name ossobuco originates from ‘hollow bone’ because the bone marrow is considered to be a tasty treat. Eating bone marrow can strike terror in the hearts of the uninitiated. After I tried this tender and flavourful veal dish I was converted but still not a fan of the marrow.

There are different variations of the dish that call for onion, carrots, celery and tomatoes. The one I make is a simple version without the vegetables and served with gremolada, a mix of anchovies, garlic, lemon peel and parsley.

The veal shank (en Français ‘jarret de veau’) is slowly stewed in the oven for two hours rendering the meat very tender. The veal bone adds to the flavour. In Italy, it is traditionally it is served with a saffron risotto. I find that broccoli makes a perfect complement to the dish.

Ossobuco alla milanese
Serves 4

50 g (2 oz. / ¼ cup) butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 pieces of ossobuco (veal shank), each about 5 cm (2”) thick
Flour for dredging (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
250 mL (8 fl. oz. / 1 cup) dry white wine
300 mL (1-1/4 cups) chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dried thyme)

1 small clove garlic
30 mL (2 Tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
5 mL (1 tsp) chopped lemon rind
½ anchovy fillet (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).

Heat the butter with the crushed garlic clove in a heavy casserole large enough to accommodate all the meat in one layer. Dredge the veal lightly in flour (optional). Add to the pan and brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the garlic.

Add the wine, and cook over moderate to high heat for 3-4 minutes, turning the veal over several times. Pour in the broth, and add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover the casserole and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 2 hours.
In the meantime, prepare the gremolada - combine the garlic, parsley, lemon rind and anchovy on a board and chop them together very finely.
After 2 hours, remove from the oven. Taste the sauce for seasoning. Sprinkle in the gremolada, and mix well into the sauce. Return the casserole to the oven for 10 minutes more, and serve.

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