This is the story of how Thirty Minute Thursday went “home” to “Mom’s” for dinner…
While I was doing the “fresh” marketing for the week, I stumbled upon an incredible veal sale at my local market. I couldn’t believe my eyes!! For a store that rarely carries any form of veal, there were pounds and pounds of ground veal, veal shanks for osso bucco and some other puzzling cuts that didn’t appeal to me. I was totally blown away at the price…$4.59 USD per pound. The last time I looked at veal osso bucco, the last time I actually SAW veal shank, it was $10.00 per pound! Needless to say, I snatched up a couple packages with my sights on Friday night…until I saw the date on the package. It wouldn’t be such a good idea to push the shanks until Friday. Hmm. Oh well…Thirty Minute Thursday will just have to stretch to Two Hours!! Sure enough…Osso bucco is one of the dishes I had to take a pass on last year with Cooking Italy. In the Cooking Italy group, we cook from the Marcella Hazan’s Essential Italian Cooking…and she’s Giuliano’s mother, and that’s how that all works out. Fasten your seat belts…we’re going to “Mom’s” for this dish!
We turned this into a team-effort. Since I work throughout the day, my beloved husband, Bruce, agreed to chop the veggies for me so I could work fast when I got in from work, because I only had about 30 minutes to get this prepped and into the oven before I needed to be at another meeting. When I flew in the door, he lit the oven, I started the veggies, and tied and dredged the veal. We got it all together and into the oven and I was only a little bit late… I forgot to ask him to pick some thyme for me. So, I ran short on time because I needed to pick thyme. Don’t you just love the English language?? Bless Bruce, he kept an eye on the shanks and turned them and basted them as needed while I was away. I got home just in time to fix some rice, though not risotto…this time. Rice sounded good to Bruce, so we ran that play, because I knew I could make it all work. I opted for the gremolada…and loved the flavors!
This is an easy dish to prepare. It just takes a little time, and some TLC. We really liked the Milanese version. I’ll try the Bianco version one of these days. Maybe I’ll try it the next time I see a sale on veal. There wasn’t anything I could make scallopini out of. I checked. That was another cut I would have been interested in. I’d think about going back for some of the ground veal…I’m just not sure what I’d use it for…yet. As soon as I can’t get it, I’ll find 2 dozen recipes that NEED it. Because that’s How these things work.
This dish is full of complex flavors and textures. There is an decadent unctuousness that is purely sensuous in almost every bite. The meat becomes so incredibly tender you don’t need much more than a fork to eat with, but do use your knife to make sure you get every morsel of marrow from the bones. After simmering in a mirepoix with wine and tomatoes, the marrow has soaked up flavor like you wouldn’t believe. Think of it as Super Butter. It’s best to get hindquarter shanks, however forequarter shanks will work nicely too. Plan for 3/4 – 1 pound per person depending on the size of the center bone. And don’t forget to call me.