The Beauty of Marrow

2 Aug

This is a Milanese dish my mother has been preparing in the winter my whole life and is the most decadent, body warming, comfort food on the planet.  Mac ‘n’ cheese be gone, this stuff is life saving.  Bone marrow is one of those foods to which many people have an adverse reaction.  It is in fact incredibly rich and full of protein.  It’s a consistency some have trouble negotiating — more a gelatinous gravy that is beautiful spread across a piece of bread or scooped out with a spoon.  The meat surrounding the bone is the veal shank and we all know the cuter the animal the better tasting the dish.  This is no exception.  When properly cooked, osso buco falls off the bone without the aid of a knife.  This particular recipe is borrowed from Marcella Hazan, author of 6 cookbooks on Italian cooking.

Osso buco alla milanese: enough for 6

1 big can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

2/3 cup finely chopped carrot

2/3 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 strips lemon peel

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 shanks of veal (you can find these precut in most grocery stores, get one cut for each person)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate or on waxed paper

1 cup dry white wine

1.5 cups homemade meat broth or canned beef broth

1.5 cups canned italian tomatoes coarsely chopped w/their juice

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

4 leaves fresh basil (optional)

2 bay leaves

2 or 3 sprigs parsley

Freshly ground pepper

Salt to taste

The Business:

Heat in skillet olive oil and garlic over medium heat.

The veal shanks should be washed and patted dry, then lightly roll them in flour.  Place in skillet to brown on all sides.  Set aside when finished.

In large stock pot heat over medium olive oil, butter and garlic.  Throw in onions, carrot, celery to cook down — this is known in italian as a soffritto.  Next the veal shanks, tomatoes and their juice, beef broth, lemon peel.  Add the rest of the spices and let simmer covered for two hours.  Stir every 10 minutes or so.  This is a dish best the day after, let cool on stove stop then cover with tin foil and place in fridge.  Next day heat up at low simmer then serve in pasta dish, fettunta is a great side.

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