There are some people that don’t go a winter without skiing, there are those that can’t pass a winter without buying a new coat (I belong to both of these groups), and there are those who just can’t get through the cold season without Osso Bucco. This wonderful Italian dish belongs to the holy trinity of winter food, along with rich hearty soup and Saturday Hamin (a Moroccan stew). Osso Bucco is a aromatic vegetable and beef stew cooked for about two and a half hours over low heat, until the meat is soft, to the point where it separates from the bone, and is full of flavor. I like to add red wine to the stew giving it a deep flavor (it doesn’t have to be expensive wine, but it should be wine that is drinkable) and a head of fennel to give a fresh contrast to the meat. This is unnecessary to even mention, but I’ll do it anyways- a quality Osso bucco should only be made with fresh ?,not frozen beef. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or bread to soak up the great sauce- and it’s time to feast. (Don’t forget to praise the Italians).
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
- Lightly flour the meat, heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat and gently sear the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Remove the meat from the pot and place aside. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, the onions, celery and carrots and sweat for about 10 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and slightly transparent.
- Add the wine, water, tomatoes and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Add the browned meat (the liquids should completely cover the meat) and bring to a boil.
- Lower the flame cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. After two hours, add the fennel and bring to a boil again. Lower heat and cook for another 30 minutes, until both the meat and fennel are soft.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley over the dish and serve.