Well now – there were a few ‘noses’ out of joint in the Masterchef Kitchen last night weren’t there. Claire actually visibly paled and Aaron nearly choked on his own moustache!!! Aren’t you just loving this – we are on episode 62 of 84 …. Which roughly translates into three words and that’s, TENSION – STRESS and CABIN FEVER. They MUST all be getting right up each other’s jumpers by now! It cannot be easy to be thrown into a melting pot of different personalities – personal habits and preferences. I distinctly remember last season’s winner Julie’s sheer delight at the return of three contestants last year but this lot – Haibo! They just didn’t look happy AT ALL!!! Isn’t it amazing how a simple dish such as mashed potato or Hollandaise sauce can trip you right up!! It’s a good reminder to us all – the basics ARE VITAL!
Anyhoo, I mentioned a packet of veal shin that TrickyRicky purchased at our local Italian Deli recently. If you are looking for any ingredients for an Italian recipe and live in the Durban area head for l’Edicola on the corner of Cowey and Road where you can get anything from Marsala wine to Parma Hams and all cold meats to Pastas and cheeses to Chicken Stock Cubes AND sit down and have a proper Panino and Espresso while your shopping is packaged and boxed!
Osso Bucco is another of those Italian classics that celebrates the lesser popular cuts of meat. This dish is traditionally made with veal shin and thigh and us uber popular with Tricky and the boys. I am a sucker for any dish with rice – and a nice sunset yellow bowl of Risotto all Milanese – makes my heart sing!!! And yes, both dishes originated in Milan – the epicentre of fashion in Italy. A city that, together with Florence, the birthplace of our dear Nonna, I have yet to visit ….
(Pssst! TrickyRicky! Ai Capito amore ? Mi senti?)
Osso Bucco con Riso alla Milanese ….
nb: not a risotto …. riso alla Milanese – quick & molto easy!
The Osso Bucco
Before I begin – apologies for the less than award winning photo’s – I cooked this dinner after work last Friday and was just too tired to duck and dive shadows and get too into the ‘food styling of it all!” and Tricky was starving!!!
1kg veal shin – you could also use beef shin if you like but i would definately
cook it for 1 1/2 – 2 hours in the oven.
2 onions finely chopped
2 sticks of celery – tops left on – finely chopped
2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
5 finely chopped cloves of garlic
Butter for frying – about 100g
4Tbs of flour – placed in a plastic bag & lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cans of cherry tomatoes – use your hand to squash them up a bit.
Sundried tomatoes (optional)
2 glasses of red wine
500ml beef stock
– rosemary or basil or thyme or all of them in a bouquet garni
4 bay leaves
It’s best to use a pot that you can use on the top of your stove and then put a lid on and pop into the oven.
Pre-heat your oven to 160d.
Melt the butter in your pot and add a little dash of olive oil – this combination of oil and butter will prevent the butter from spitting – brown the veal shanks that have been lightly dusted in seasoned flour, on both sides. If you pot looks like it’s starting to burn – add some more butter immediately as you don’t want to get a bitter burnt taste in your Osso Bucco. Don’t overcrowd your pot either – if needs be, brown the shin in batches.
Set them aside.
Using the same pot, add a little more oil – and lightly brown the onion and garlic.
Add the finely chopped carrot and celery and stir in well –
Add the red wine and give the bottom of the pot a good scraping with a wooden spoon or spatula as this is
where all the flavour for your sauce is sitting, and cook off all of the alcohol!
Now add the tomato, sundried tomatoes (which I add because my family enjoy them but are not part of the traditional recipe!, beef stock, pepper, salt and herbs – i only had rosemary and thyme available so added them –
add the bayleaves now too.
Bring to the boil and stir – add in the browned shins, making sure that they are fully submerged in the sauce,
and bring to the boil.
Pop a lid on, or cover with tin foil if your pot doesn’t have a lid, and bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 1 hour. Take the Osso Bucco out after half an hour – stir gently – cover and place back in the oven. Ater one hour your Osso Bucco should be tender and very tasty.
Traditionally, Osso Bucco is served with a Gremolata garnish, and it really does lift this dish up.
The parsley and lemon zest add a zingy freshness to each mouthful.
1 large clove of garlic crushed
The zest of one lemon
A good handful of parsley finely chopped
Combine all of
the above together in a bowl and garnish the Osso Bucco with 2/3 of it and keep
a little back to add a fresh sprinkle on to each plate that you serve.
Riso alla Milanese
2 cups of rice – I used long grain normal rice as I was too tired to use Arborio rice and stand
and stir and stir and stir and add the stock ladel by ladel – Looooong day at work!!!!
Low energy – but I did manage a glass of vino which got me smiling in a flash!!!
Springfield Special Cuvee to the rescue!
1 onion finely chopped
5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2tsp Saffron soaked for 10 minutes in a little hot water or milk
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp White pepper
Melt the butter in a pot and add the onion and fry on a moderate heat until the onion is translucent.
Add the rice and give it a good stir – to coat each grain of rice in butter
Add 1 cup of dry white wine and cook until the alcohol has cooked away –
if you don’t like to cook with wine you can just add the chicken stock.
Add the chicken stock, about 1tsp of white pepper and soaked Saffron strands –
give a quick gentle stir – bring to the boil
Put the lid on and cook on a moderate heat until all of the water has been absorbed by the rice.
Add another big knob of butter and the parmesan cheese – stir them in and have a taste to check for seasoning – adjust if needs be and serve.
Durbanites – Gorima’s at Musgrave Centre are selling this beautiful tin of 10 sachets of Saffron for R250,00 – not a bad buy because this Saffron is pure and much stronger than the dodgy powdered Saffron one can buy.
Please remember that the quantities I list are to my taste – if you want to add a little more of this or a little less of that – to please you palate, the go right ahead.
We are not serving restaurant food here – it’s food for our families that we love and want to smile when they take a mouthful – so play around and make the recipe your own.
Ciao, baci e Buon Appetito
ps: I have had considerable feedback from readers who have used this recipe. I must add that this dish was made with Venison and reported to have been a great success, this just goes to support my ethos that we need not restrict ourselves with food. Make each recipe your own – food should please you and your family.