Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Risotto Milanese with Veal Osso Bucco and Gremolata


















This classic Northern Italian composition is the definition of comfort food.  This dish takes 2 hours, costs $30 and feeds 2 very well.

Risotto Milanese - 1 hour
1/2 organic white onion, diced
1/2 organic leek, diced
1/4 cup shallots, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pancetta, diced (optional)
1 cup white wine, pinot grigio 
1 1/2 cups Arborio rise
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoon of butter
salt and pepper


Combine water, stock and saffron threads in a medium saucepan and place on low heat. Start a seperate large high sided sauce pot or very large sautee pan on medium low heat (4 of 10) and add olive oil and butter. Then add the chopped onions, leeks and shallots and cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Now add the 2 cups of Arborio rice. Stir the rice and vegetables until it begins to toast a bit and becomes translucent, about 4 minutes. Now add the wine and stir until most of the wine has cooked off. Now add three ladles of the warmed stock. Stir the rice well until all of the liquid is almost all absorbed. Then add three more ladles of stock and stir it in again until absorbed. Stir the pot every 3-4 minutes or so, don't walk away. Keep adding the three ladles of stock every time the liquid is almost absorbed. It should take about 35 to 40 minutes for the rice to stop absorbing the liquid rapidly and begin to get tender. About 5 to 6 times of adding the stock. Once the rice is tender but with a little bite left, turn off the heat on the risotto and add the butter and Parmesan cheeses and mix well.  Let stand and mix again gentle, serve immediately. 




Veal Osso Buco - 1.5 hours
2 tablespoons pancetta, finely chopped
2 oz vegetable oil
2 veal shanks
1/2 medium yellow onion, rough chop
1/2 medium red onion, rough chop
2 celery stalks, rough chop
1/2 leek, chopped
2 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups stock (veg, chicken or beef) I used chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme, parsley and oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper

Turn the oven on to 325. Start a large dutch oven (oven proof pot with lid) or enamel coated cast iron cooking vessel (ie. le crusset) on low heat. Add the pancetta and let that melt and render out the fat, about 10 minutes. Remove the cooked pancetta and reserve it for later. Salt and pepper the veal shanks and coat with a bit of flour. Add the veg oil to the pancetta fat and turn the heat to medium. Add the veal shanks and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until they get a nice brown on them. Remove them from the pot and set aside. Turn the heat back to low and add the onions, scallions, tomato, garlic, carrots and reserved pancetta. Let that cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Now turn the heat to medium and add the red wine. Let that cook for about 5 minutes. Now add the chicken stock. Cook this for about 10 more minutes. Now turn off the heat. Add the reserved veal shanks to the pot, the liquid should be about half way up the shanks. Top the shanks with the fresh herbs. Cover the pot and place the whole thing in the oven. This whole technique is called braising.  Let that cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove and throw away the herbs. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. Puree the vegetables and liquid using a stick blender or traditional blender, then strain the liquid from the vegetables. Using a small knife or fork, take out the cooked marrow from the bones and add it to strained liquid. Reduce the sauce for 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Remove the meat from the bone and fat and add the shank pieces back into the sauce to heat up. Remove and serve. 


Gremolata - 20 minutes
1/2 bunch of parsley, stemmed and fine chopped
1 garlic clove, fine dice
1 lemon completely zested, no juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients and let stand for at least 20 minutes up to 1 day.


Buon Apetito!



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