Everyone has their unattainable unicorn. Whether it’s the stunning girl that you saw on the subway or getting into Harvard, your unicorn exists. I have a few food related unicorns and this week I conquered two! Lucky for me, I can blog about both of them. (Mayonnaise post will be linked shortly!)
My unicorn (beef osso buco)
I have a hard time photographing certain foods. Osso buco is one of them. This scrumptious, buttery meat refused to cooperate with me when I tried to photograph it. Cooking it is not a problem. As a matter of convenience, it’s become one of my go-to dishes for large crowds because it’s not a fussy dish. Yet each time I picked up a camera to photograph it, I felt like the food quickly took on human characteristics and crossed it’s arms at me and gave me dirty looks (or maybe I’m just personifying my kids personalities onto a piece of beef…).
This week, all of the pieces fell into place. The mashed potatoes were hot, the sun was shining and I’ve convinced myself that the beef was actually trying to smile at me. It was meant to be. I got a great shot!
I love this recipe for parties because it creates an incredibly flavorful dish that can be prepared ahead of time. The longer it simmers, the better it is. If you cook and cool it a day before serving it, it will be even better than you had originally anticipated! This is a meat that definitely enjoys being braised.
8 portions of beef osso buco (untrussed)
seared piece of osso buco
All vegetables into the pot!
add liquid and let reduce
more beef… it’s just so pretty!
Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree
submerge the pieces of osso buco
Like they’re happily taking a bath…
Beef Osso Buco
8 shanks of osso buco (untied if you want a more rustic dish, tied if you want to plate each piece individually)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 cups red wine
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
About 2 cups of beef stock (or water)
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
1. In a large, flat bottomed pot, heat olive oil on medium/high heat.
2. Season each piece of osso buco with salt and pepper.
3. Add the osso buco to the pot (depending on the size of your pot, about 4 pieces will fit at a time) and sear on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer seared pieces to a plate. Sear remaining pieces.
4. Add carrots, onions and celery to the pot and saute them in the remaining olive oil and meat juices. About 3-5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Add wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Cook on medium heat until the wine reduces by half and the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
6. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
7. Using an immersion blender, puree all ingredients in the pot.
8. Return osso buco to pot. Add enough beef stock to mostly cover the meat, this will be approximately 2 cups of stock. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix with vegetable puree.
9. Bring pot to a simmer. Cover and put into the oven. Bake for 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
10. Remove from oven and let stand on stovetop to cool for 20 minutes.
11. Serve and enjoy!
Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!