02 March 2011

Osso Bucco with Gremolata

There are some rather complicated recipes for osso bucco out there, but I go for simplicity every time. The end result seems no different to me.

I bought pork osso bucco (osso is bone, buco means hole - so clearly it just means meat bone with a hole) this time, as pink ethical veal is not so easy to get (although classic). The meat is slices of shank or leg, with the bone in the middle.

Chop a strong white onion finely and heat a little olive oil in a big stewing pan, with finely chopped celery and carrot. Added the pork in one layer and brown on both sides as the vegetable caramelise. Add rosemary and bay, pour over white wine, a tin of chopped tomatoes and some stock if you have it (I had it but used a stock cube) plus plenty of crushed garlic, pepper and salt to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and put a lid on it. Allow to simmer until the meat is tender. If the sauce is too sloppy boil it down a bit.

The gremolata is essential. Like sherbet for grown ups, this is a finely chopped mix of parsley, lemon zest and fresh garlic and seasoning, that you sprinkle over the top before serving. Almost incredibly delicious to the point of addictiveness, and essential. I remember ordering osso bucco with gremolata in one of Anthony Worrell-Thompson's restaurants, and the restaurant manager (when I asked where the gremolata was) patronisingly telling me that it was stirred into the dish of course! VERY disappointing. And of course wrong.

Left over gremolata can be stirred into spaghetti with a little olive oil.

I served it with delicious Middle Eastern pale coloured courgettes, which really taste like the ones my mother grew, instead of disappointing like the darker green ones. Plus some rice. Classic is white risotto, but this was family dinner, not a party!

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