Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quasi Osso Buco

When Veal Shanks are too pricey...

2 oz olive oil
1 cup flour
4 each beef shanks, about 10-12 ounces each
1 lb large whole white button or Cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2" thick
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 medium or one large diced onion
1 lb carrots, medium diced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cup red wine
2 quarts beef stock

In a large stock pot or braising pot, add the olive oil. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to flour and mix well. Dredge the shanks in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely. When the oil is hot, sear the shanks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until very brown on all sides. Remove the shanks and set aside.

Image courtesy of wildgirl-inthekitchen
Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Season onions with salt and pepper. Add the carrots and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 1 minute. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom and sides to loosen the browned particles.

Add half of the stock . Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the shanks and slowly add enough more stock just to cover. Continue to cook, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the meat starts to fall of the bone. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Remove all the meat and bone from the pot and set aside. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside as well, leaving only the gravy that has been created from the cooking.
Bring the pot to a good simmer and add the reserved mushrooms. Cook until the liquid thickens, either until it nicely coats the back of a spoon or until it is reduced by half in volume.

While this is reducing, place your sliced mushrooms in a single layer in a large flat pan over medium heat. Add no oil or water - just let them sit. after 5-10 minutes, you will notice that they have released a bit of moisture and have shrunk in size by almost half. At this point, turn the mushrooms over and cook on the other side for another few minutes. This works to concentrate the flavor without adding oil or making them soggy, and you might have to do them in batches so that you don't crowd them. Remove from heat and reserve mushrooms.

Once the sauce is ready, add the meat back in to the liquid to reheat. Add in the reserved mushrooms. Serve with or over pasta, with a nice risotto, on gnocchi. Ladle sauce over meat and vegetables after plating. Here I served it with gnocchi.

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