Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Osso Buco (Page 458)

RECIPE #1137

  • Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B


I needed a break from all the seafood so I decided to make some veal. I started by seasoning the veal shanks, dredging them in flour, then browning them in a mixture of butter and oil. I deglazed the pan with white wine, then removed the wine and cooked onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. I then added chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, the shanks, the wine, chicken stock, and a bouquet garni of bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. I brought the mixture to a simmer then braised it in the oven for several hours. When the shanks were tender I made a sauce from the braising liquid, then baked the shanks some more, basting with the sauce. I sprinkled the shanks with a mixture of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and minced garlic and served the shanks with the sauce. I love osso buco so I was super excited about this dish. Unfortunately it was a bit disappointing. It had a great flavor, but I think the shanks should have been braised longer. As it was, not enough of the fat had melted away, so they came out pretty fatty. And they could have been more tender. This dish would have been improved by braising the shanks 30 minutes to an hour more.

The recipe in The Book is very similar to this one.

I am turning 30 this month, which has got me thinking about what life changes I would like to make for this next decade. In particular I have been thinking a lot about food and eating. I have always thought that I have a good relationship with food. I eat when I am hungry. I don't eat when I am not hungry. I enjoy eating. And I like almost everything. I have long been aware that it would probably be better to eat more fruits and vegetables than I do -- it appears on my list of New Year's resolutions every year. But until recently, I never actually did it. It's odd because I love vegetables. Broccoli is one of my top five favorite foods for sure, and carrots, corn, and asparagus would be pretty high on this list too. Yet in the past year I am sure there have been dozens of days when I haven't eaten any vegetables at all. Or fruits. Now I am trying to enact change. I have been eating salads for lunch every day, which is a big step. And I love it. I have also been eating fruit for snacks and dessert. Also great. Which got me thinking, "Why didn't I do this earlier?" I realized something: the lack of fruits and veggies in my diet was less of a reflection on the way I chose what to eat and more of a reflection on the way I shop. I don't like to waste food or money, so when I go to the grocery store I try to only buy the things I am certain we need (i.e. the ingredients for the book recipes mostly...). And since we travel so much, often I will be grocery shopping with the knowledge that we are leaving town in a few days. So I buy things that will still be good when we get back in case we don't use them (soy milk, pasta, cereal, etc...). In other words, things that come in a box. The thing is, though, most of the healthiest foods spoil. I have decided to worry less, and go ahead and buy things that might rot. Our fridge right now is full of lettuce, carrots, peas, edamame, strawberries, tomatoes, avocados, cantaloupe, corn, apples, pears, etc... And my suspicion was correct: when the foods are in the fridge, I eat them! If only I had thought this through earlier...

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