Baby Cow is Like Buttah: Osso Bucco

Our friend Terri generously lets us stay at her cabin in the Mount Hood National Forest. It's a beautiful Forest Service cabin by the Zig Zag river. The idyllic setting is perfect for hiking and fishing, so naturally we stay in and eat ourselves silly every time we go. Hey, the forest is just as pretty from the dining room table as it is with wet feet walking along a muddy river bank.

I happened upon some veal shanks a few months ago in the supermarket meat case. I put them in the freezer for the perfect moment. The moment arrived when we were at the cabin for Memorial Day weekend. Rather than heralding the beginning of summer, it rained like hell for 4 days straight. Perfect time for braising.

Now, if you have a problem with veal, let's just agree to not talk about it. I eat meat. I like veal. Politics aside, you can't make a more tender braise than veal shanks. The bones make the sauce like silk.

4 veal osso bucco veal shanks, cut 2 inches thick
1 onion, finely chopped
4 T butter
1 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the “gremolata”
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped or pressed with the garlic press
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
Italian parsley, finely chopped

Dredge the veal shanks in flour. Melt the butter in a cast iron pan or dutch oven. When it begins to brown, add the veal shanks and sear until browned on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the shanks to a plate and add chopped onion, sauteeing until golden. Return the shanks to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Add the white wine and beef stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and return to a simmer. Cover and braise for 45-90 minutes, until the meat is falling off the bone.

Serve with saffron risotto and gremolata. The marrow from inside the veal bones is magical on a crusty piece of bread. Don't be shy, you've already committed animal cruelty, might as well slurp on some marrow!

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