Sunday, 2 February 2014

Veal Osso Bucco

A while back I was doing the groceries and came across Veal Shanks. I have a habit of buying interesting ingredients and then hiding them away in the freezer for 'one day' when I find a good recipe or get struck by inspiration for a meal idea. I knew that the most common use for veal shanks was Osso Bucco, a traditional Italian dish which cooks the shanks slowly with vegetables and creates a succulent meal full of rich flavors and meat that falls off the bone (literally in my case…it was impossible to plate the veal as it kept falling off the bone when I transferred it from the pan!).

We ended up with a dinner that the whole family really enjoyed - even my notoriously fussy youngest couldn't get enough of the veal, despite an initial hesitation. It was so tender that she found it really easy to chew which is a common complaint with young children and meat. This meal would be perfect for really young children, as both the meat and vegetables are so tender they literally just fall apart.

 Veges in the pan…

 Time to add the browned shanks…

 Cook for 90 minutes and everything gets all gorgeous and infused with flavor.

 Serve with a simple steamed broccoli and avocado salad…

 …roasted zucchini, (and potatoes and kumara from the Osso Bucco)...

…and voila, dinner is served!

Hubby is not a fan of Veal, so he had the vegetables from the Osso Bucco and I fried a Sirloin steak for him instead.

Veal Osso Bucco
Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

4 Veal Shanks (you can use any meat you like - pork or lamb chops would also work well)
2 large onions, cut into quarters
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into thick chunks
6 small potatoes (or substitute for kumara or pumpkin if you don't eat potato), halved or quartered depending on size
1 large kumara, peeled and cut into large chunks
a handful of fresh thyme (or about 1 tbsp dried)
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary (or about 2 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp fresh or dried oregano
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Get out a large roasting dish or casserole pot. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over your meat
2. Prepare all of your vegetables and place in the roasting dish or casserole pot. Give them a good mix around so that you have an even distribution. Sprinkle the herbs over the top. Pour the vegetable stock and water into the pan
3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with a little oil. Place the meat in the frying pan and sear both sides until golden brown
4. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. If you are using a roasting dish, cover the dish with tinfoil. If  you are using a casserole dish place the lid on. Pop it in the oven and cook for 90 minutes. 
5. Remove from the oven and serve! I made mine earlier in the day and simply reheated it in the oven for about 15 minutes just before serving. You could even make it a day ahead, or make a big batch and freeze. 

Serving suggestions:
 - we had ours served with roasted zucchini and a broccoli and avocado salad. I also removed a couple of the potatoes from the roasting dish and popped them in the oven with the zucchini to roast for the kids who love roasted potatoes. You could also remove them and turn them into really tasty mashed potatoes (or kumara) which would be great for mopping up some of the juices from this meal. We are not really a mash family (kids have never liked it - don't know why!), hence why I kept mine whole, but I think it's more traditional with mash.
- The broccoli salad was simply half a head of broccoli, very lightly steamed, then combined with a chopped avocado. I drizzled some macadamia oil and lemon juice over it (olive oil will work just as well), then a sprinkle of sesame seeds (sliced almonds would be great too) and a pinch of salt and pepper. So simple, but SO tasty!