Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

April 5, 2011


Food-wise I'm glad the weather turned cold again because I still hadn't cooked one of my favorite winter dishes: osso buco. It seemed a formidable task to undertake. Actually, cooking osso buco takes longer in the telling than in the making. Once you have assembled all the ingredients, the dish all but cooks itself. It gets better the longer you cook it, plus the flavor intensifies if made a day or two ahead of time.

Ottomanelli’s knowledgeable butcher Mark advised me to get pork shank. “Tastier than veal,” he said. Who knows? This one was a winner.


Osso Buco
Mashed Potatoes
Wine: Bogle Petite Sirah 2008
Dessert: Fruit


1 pork shank (about 1 lb.), tied with kitchen twine
Flour to dust
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ lb pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
½ cup chopped canned tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine, more if needed
½ beef or chicken stock, more if needed
Grated lemon and orange zests
Touch of Pimentòn de la Vera
Touch of sugar
Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pat pork shank dry. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dip shanks in the flour mixture and coat. Heat oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add pancetta and cook until it begins to render its fat. Add the pork shank and brown on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook carrot, onion and celery in same skillet for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in wine and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Add the pork shank. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for at least 2 ½ hours. Ever so often, check to see if more liquid is needed.

Let the osso buco cool and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, skim the layer of fat that has formed and remove the twine. Bring the osso buco to a simmer over medium heat. Add the lemon and orange zest. Adjust seasoning. (I asked George to taste the dish. He suggested adding a little bit of sugar. Brilliant!)

To serve, I cut the meat from the bone, scooped the marrow out of the bone, mashed it into the vegetable mixture, and garnished the dish with chopped parsley.

Later on I cleaned and washed the bone and gave it to our dog, Mops. He was in heaven.

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