Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Osso buco with gremolata. Click to embiggen.
Ya just gotta love those folks at Costco -
They’re now my source for Osso Buco.
To Costco, then, let us give thanks:
Purveyors of fine Veal Shanks.
A few days ago, as I was making my regular Provisioning Run over at Costco, I espied something new in the meat case. New, or perhaps something that had heretofore escaped my notice - I cannot for sure say which.
Veal - the delicate meat of the Beef-Calf - has several things going for it. One, it’s delicious. Two, it’s relatively lean protein, boasting a high nutrient density. On top of that, eating it is a great way to piss off the PETA folks.
Veal shanks, AKA osso buco - “bone with a hole” - are excellent when braised in a wine-enriched stock. My prior experience with osso buco had all been at restaurants, including the excellent version at the legendary Tony’s in Houston. This time, I resolved to try my own hand at making it.
Unlike beef, veal has a lot of natural collagen. The shankbone itself is rather tough - not especially suitable for throwing on the grill - but when you cook it nice and slow in liquid, all that connective tissue melts down and turns into gelatin, imparting an amazing silkiness to the meat and its juices. Served with a scattering of gremolata - a blend of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon zest - it is Tasty Good.
Traditionally, osso buco is served with risotto. We elected to go a lighter route, with a salad of arugula and shredded Brussels sprouts set off by pine nuts and shaved Parmesan and dressed with a hazelnut oil - sherry vinaigrette.
And the best part? Watching She Who Must Be Obeyed slurping the marrow right out of those bones. Yowza!