Finally coming off of my jet lag, and already anticipating the next round of jet lag (I’m off to Australia next week) I found myself craving something really filling and warm. Polenta is one of my favorite go to foods when I’m looking for something that will warm me from the inside out and make me feel comfortable. I have been known to sit on the couch with the pan fresh from the stove while spooning the golden, cheese filled morsels into my mouth and grinning all the while. But since Craig doesn’t consider a pot of polenta dinner, I needed to figure out something to top said polenta. (Sometimes I feel like I’m still living with my parents when he scolds me for eating potato chips or a bowl of ice cream for dinner. Isn’t that one of the perks of being an adult? You get to do stuff like that?)
I decided that Osso Bucco would make a fitting companion to my beloved polenta. I’ve never made Osso Bucco before, but since I have yet to meet a braised dish I didn’t like the decision was made that dinner would be Osso Bucco. Braising is almost as good as using a slow cooker – put the food in the oven and leave it alone, so easy. (One of the many reasons why this is the perfect date night meal.)
I’ve changed the traditional recipe a bit, but the results are a tender piece of meat that is saturated with flavors and smothered in a rich and satisfying sauce that includes mushrooms, wine, chicken stock, garlic, thyme and raisins.
Sometimes you both need to step back for a bit and bring out your inner child. I’m not saying to act childISH, but be more childLIKE. Remove “labels” from your relationship. He is an engineer, she is a sales rep, he is the fix-it guy, she is cook…why not be like kids and change up your label every once in a while? Like he is the cook one night, and she is the fix-it person, or better yet: he is the pilot and she is the flight attendant (get it? ) Be more forgetful. How is it that when we were kids, we would be in the worst fight ever with our best friend and a day or two later it was like it never happened and it never came up again? How about forgetting about that time he suggested you wear a different dress to his work party (no he wasn’t subliminally telling you that you looked like a slut) or that time you told him to stop chewing his food with his mouth open. Neither of these things is worth bringing up later when you are arguing about something else. Odds are that you won’t be arguing about either one of these things again, so they really aren’t relevant to the new argument…are they? Stop being stodgy. Children learn new things everyday and look forward to it. As an adult you should be learning new things. Pick up a book, take a class or watch a television show to learn something new. These new activities will not only help your brain, but you’ll have new things to talk about with your partner and then you can put these new talents to use.
- 4 Slices of Veal Shank 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick (if you want them to stay together when cooked, tie circumference with cooking string)
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Onions (diced)
- 1/2 Cup Celery (diced)
- 1/2 Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms Rehydrated and chopped (rehydrate in 1 1/2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes and save water)
- 1/4 Cup Large Golden Raisins
- 4 Cloves Garlic (crushed) Plus 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped Fine
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Chopped Plus 3-4 Stems Fresh Parsley
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 5-6 Stems Fresh Thyme Stems
- 1 Cup Dry White Wine (chardonnay)
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 1/2 Cups Mushroom Water (from re-hydrating dehydrated porcini mushrooms)
- Coarse Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the veal shanks and brown on all sides. Remove shanks to a plate and reduce heat to medium low.
If dutch oven is running dry, pour in another tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions, celery, mushrooms, raisins, garlic, parsley stems, bay leaf and thyme stems. Cook until vegetables begin to soften. Stir often so that they do not burn.
Return veal shanks to the pan with one side of the bone lying against the bottom of the Dutch oven. Arrange the shanks in a single layer. It’s okay if there are vegetables under the shanks. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat up to high and add the wine, 1 cup of the mushroom water and one cup of the chicken stock. The liquids will only come up about halfway on the shanks. Bring the liquid to a boil.
Cover the pan and put into the oven for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove the pan and turn the shanks over. Pour in the remaining mushroom water and chicken stock. Put back into the oven for 1 more hour.
Once cooked, the veal will be very tender. Carefully remove the shanks to a covered dish and put back into turned off oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
Strain the sauce from the Dutch oven and throw away any of the solids. Boil strained juices over high heat until they are thickened slightly. Add in the chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest (the gremolata).
Remove the shanks from the covered dish and plate with risotto, polenta or mashed potatoes. If you tied the shanks, cut the string. Drizzle with sauce and serve.Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.