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Giada's Easy Osso Buco & Smashed Parmesan Potatoes: Favorite Fall Comfort Food

Posted Nov 19 2010 5:01am
It's Fall Favorites week at I Heart Cooking Clubs--time to pick a dish that represents the season. For me, fall means heavier, heartier comfort food fare, and no dish says that better to me than osso buco. Tender, meaty shanks that fall off the bone in a rich sauce--what could be more comforting? I decided to try Giada's recipe for Easy Osso Buco and serve it with her Smashed Parmesan Potatoes, both recipes are from " Everyday Italian " and together they make a perfect fall comfort food meal.

The recipe can be found in "Everyday Italian" on pages 180-181

Giada says, "Osso buco is braised veal shanks. The fabulously flavorful veal shanks are cooked for a long time, making the meat so tender that it literally falls off the bones. I'm not sure why, but I think people are afraid of this dish; maybe they're intimidated by the unfamiliarity of veal shanks. But it's really easy to prepare and just needs a couple of hours to cook, while the fragrant aromas fill your house and maybe even tempt the neighbors to ring the doorbell to find out what's cooking. The perfect dish for a rainy Sunday."

Be sure to have kitchen twine available for tying the shanks.

Easy Osso Buco
"Everyday Italian" by Giada de Laurentiis
(6 Main-Course Servings)

6 1-to-1 1/2-inch-thick slices veal shank (about 14 oz each)
2 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
about 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pat the veal dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season the veal 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Dredge the veal in the flour to coat the cut sides lightly.

In a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the veal in a single layer, heat the oil over a medium flame until hot. Add the veal and cook until brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a a plate and reserve.

In the same pan, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with 1-teaspoon of salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the veal to the pan. Add enough chicken broth to come two thirds of the way up the sides of the veal. Add the herb sprigs, bay leaf and cloves to the broth mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with foil and transfer to the oven. Braise until the veal is fork-tender, turning the veal every 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours total.

Carefully remove the cooked veal from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut off the twine and discard. Tent the veal with foil to keep warm.

Place a large sieve over a large bowl. Carefully pour the cooking liquid and vegetables into the sieve, pressing the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and return the sauce to the pan. Gently place the veal back into the strained sauce. Bring to just a simmer. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. Place one veal shank on each plate and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with parsley and serve.

This recipe can be found in "Everyday Italian" (pg 209) and at the Food Network here .

Smashed Parmesan Potatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 6-8 Side Dish Servings)

3 pounds baby red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the potatoes in a large pot of water. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Continue boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the potatoes to the pot.

Coarsely mash the potatoes with a fork, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Stir in the Parmesan and the oil. Season the potatoes, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes/Results: Rich, savory and with lots of delicious flavor. Osso Buco is a favorite dish of mine to eat and to make. I don't know that I found this necessarily easier than other osso buco recipes, but then I have never found it to be very hard to make anyway. As Giada says, it just takes time to cook, not a lot of effort--the hardest part is smelling it while it is cooking and wanting it to get done faster. I think Mark Bittman's Osso Buco with Gremolata is still my favorite, but that certainly didn't stop me from enjoying this one. ;-) The Smashed Parmesan Potatoes are easy and tasty with plenty of flavor from the olive oil and Parmesan and they paired nicely with the veal and its sauce. This isn't a light meal but we all need a little comfort and indulgence now and then. I would make both of these recipes again.

You can check out what delicious Fall Favorites the other IHCC participants cooked this week by going to the post here and following the links.

I am also linking this to Seasonal Saturday with Roz over at la bella vita since it celebrates the fall season so well. Stop by her blog and take a look at all the wonderful dishes and seasonal ideas this week.

Happy Aloha Friday!
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