Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Osso Bucco

Serves 4


4 x 350-400g, centre bone cut pieces of veal osso buco
50mL extra virgin olive oil 
2 onions, finely diced 
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 anchovy fillets 
1 cup dry white wine
800g tinned crushed tomatoes
1 cup veal or beef stock 
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
2 large sprigs of fresh sage
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary 
1 fresh bay leaf 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the puree:
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped good quality anchovy 


Season the veal with the sea salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and brown the veal osso buco pieces evenly on all sides. The veal should be well coloured but be careful not to burn the meat.

Remove the browned veal shanks from the pan and set them aside in the slow cooker. Add the diced onion, garlic, anchovy and herbs and sauté slowly for about 5 minutes or until translucent.  Turn heat up and then add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Cook until the wine is almost completely reduced before adding the tomatoes and veal stock.

Bring to the boil before adding into the slow cooker- make sure the sauce covers the veal. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly, if the tomatoes are not as ripe and sweet as they should be a little sugar should be added. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the cut but will take somewhere between 4 to 6 hours on low setting.

The veal should be fork tender, with the meat just beginning to separate from the bone when you remove them from the slow cooker. Do not remove until meat is falling off the bone. 

To make the purée, combine the garlic, anchovy and parsley.

After you have removed the veal from the sauce, stir in the puree.  Serve veal pieces with equal portions of creamy polenta and spoon a little of the veal sauce over the top of the veal pieces to finish.

Soft Creamy Polenta

This traditional Italian staple makes a fantastic warming side dish for meat, chicken, fish or vegetables.


1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
1 cup coarse polenta (cornmeal)
125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
40g butter
Salt & finely ground white pepper

  1. Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Use a wire balloon whisk to stir the stock. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly until all the polenta is incorporated into the liquid (whisking ensures the polenta is dispersed through the liquid as quickly as possible). Don't add the polenta too quickly or it will turn lumpy. 
  2. Reduce heat to low (cook the polenta over low heat otherwise it will cook too quickly and you will need to add extra water/stock). Simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the polenta is soft. (To test whether the polenta is soft, spoon a little of the polenta mixture onto a small plate and set aside to cool slightly. Rub a little of the polenta mixture between 2 fingers to see if the grains have softened. If the grains are still firm, continue to cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until the polenta is soft.)  
  3. Remove from heat. Add the cream, Parmesan and butter, and stir until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes & Tips

The hot polenta may splatter as it cooks, so use a long-handled wooden spoon to avoid being scalded.

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