About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010
Osso Bucco Bianco

Vegetarians aside, just who doesn't love the fall apart unctuousness of slow cooked veal shank? Lip sticking, fork tender meat that melts in the mouth with a gelatinous texture that only comes from prime young steer, including the soft creamy surprise of bone marrow, waiting to be boldly scooped out of its hiding place.

No doubt, one of its finest manifestations is in the Italian dish of osso bucco, where the meat is gently braised with a sofrito of onion, carrot & celery and moistened with tomato, chicken stock and a little white wine.

As good as that is, there are some days when something a little different is needed, a pared down version still full of bold flavours. Leave out tomatoes and the colour is changed from the familiar red to what Italians refer to as bianco (white).

With so few ingredients compared to regular osso bucco, the intense flavour comes as a real surprise and is perhaps better served matched with wet polenta than the classic accompaniment of risotto Milanese.

Osso Bucco Bianco
(serves 6)

1kg pieces of veal shin
salt & fresh ground pepper
plain flour for dusting
100g unsalted butter
50ml olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2-3 stalks celery, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 50g tin quality anchovies, drained, about 8 -10 fillets
500ml dry white wine
parsley, finely chopped

Season the pieces of veal shin with salt and fresh ground pepper and dust in flour, shake off any excess. Melt 50g butter with all the olive oil in a pan that can hold all the veal pieces in a single layer. When hot, lightly brown the veal shanks and remove them when done.

Drain all the fat from the pan, no need to wipe it, then melt the remaining butter and sweat the onion, celery and garlic until soft, then add the drained anchovies, stirring well until they melt into the mixture.

Pour in the wine and bring to the boil and keep at the boil for a minute or two to drive off excess alcohol. Arrange the veal shanks in the pan so the marrow cannot fall out, cover this with baking paper, then the lid and place in the oven preheated to 150c. Cook for about 2 hours, pressing on the meat to see when it looks ready to fall apart.

Remove the meat and check the sauce, if it looks too thin, boil until reduced, or, it it's too thick, add some water and reboil. Check for seasoning, it probably won't need salt, just a quick grind of the pepper mill.

Serve on wet polenta flavoured with pecorino cheese and a knob of butter, sprinkle over a little parsley.
  posted at 12:21 pm

At 8:01 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

When I've done Osso Bucco, I've loved it. You're so right about the unctuousness and over the top flavor. I would never have thought of a Bianco but what really appeals to me here is that you've put it with polenta!

At 10:08 pm, Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Osso bucco is one of those dishes I have when I'm in a restaurant, but I've never made it at home. Don't know why, as there are so many good recipes like yours.

At 11:22 pm, Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

I've never had Osso Bucco, but your version looks spectacular!

At 6:07 am, Anonymous Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I really like the sound of this bianco version a lot! It sounds like veal blanquette! :)

At 6:30 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, I love a good osso bucco and it's a great way to feed a crowd, everything cooks while you get to talk with your guests - and have a glass of wine! We adore polenta here and always make extra to grill the next day.

Hi lydia, isn't it funny the things we don't cook at home, wonder if that defines us in some way? Guess I'm the opposite as I've never ordered osso bucco in a restaurant.

Hi kalyn, you should try it if you can, classic osso bucco is really one of the great dishes of the world.

Hi lorraine, it was a great dish, one of the best things I've done with veal in a long time. Mmm, now thinking about a blanquette, haven't had one this season.

At 1:15 pm, Anonymous Sarah said...

Unctuousness, I read this used to discribe a wine the other day. Much better suited to Osso Bucco. Thanks for this post, reminds me I need to add this dish to my staple of winter cooking! Not sure if I would be able to do without the tomatoes though? : /

At 3:36 pm, Anonymous Sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

What a lovely version of Ossu Bucco to try! Seems more restrained and elegant than the usual version but just as delicious.

At 4:23 pm, Anonymous Henna @ AboutCabinets Blog said...

yum yum yum - its sounds and looks delicious - i cant wait to make it and try it out - lovely looking food is my weakness and i love making and eating yummy things

At 10:55 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi sarah, I thought like you about the tomatoes, sometimes cooking is a leap of faith.

Hi sarah for the love of food, it really is a pulled back version, quite different, but just as delicious.

Hi henna, you won't regret making this, it's also a lot less work that the tomato version.


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