I know what you’re thinking: that is one high-falutin’ recipe title right there. It sounds like something Frasier & Niles might eat and something you straight can’t afford. (I’ve neglected Frasier references for some time now, and as a Cheers cast member and spin-off star in his own right, that simply has to be remedied.)
In any case, I bought osso buco – Italian for “bone with a hole” – from the friendly Newman Farm folks at the Memphis Farmers Market, and I had absolutely no idea what it was. (I was aiming for pork belly, but the smallest portion they had was 11 pounds, and even on my fattest of days I might lose the battle against that much pork.)
The Chef later informed me that osso buco is simply a veal shank, meaning baby cow’s leg (which is obviously super sad but also pretty delicious – sorry PETA!). We braised this sucker for 3 hours, and it eventually fell right off the bone like the books say. Moo!
2 lbs veal shanks
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of beef or chicken stock
1 can of chopped tomatoes with juice
2 strips of orange zest
salt and pepper
few sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated orange zest
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Season shanks with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Brown shanks on all sides.
- Remove shanks and add veggies. Saute until well carmelized. Then add tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaf, orange zest, and garlic.
- Place shanks back in the dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Then cover and place in oven for 3.5 hours.
- Once shanks are pulling away from the bone, remove and puree sauce for a thicker texture.
- Top with sauce then gremolata. (The Chef cautions you not to skip this step because the gremolata really brightens up this dish.)
- Serve with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Squash, Zucchini & Red Pepper.
This recipe is Ina Garten‘s, that sweet wonderful lady who spends her time having cocktail hour in The Hamptons with the gays and putting cream in everything.
Anyway, The Chef suggested I post this earlier today when the world was dark and gray and dreary, but lately Memphis weather has decided to be a rancid, sobbing manic depressive mess, so now it’s freaking beautiful outside. Whatever. We are not to be deterred. Soup was suggested, and soup you shall have.
And if you’re gonna have one, this should be it. This is perfection even if you don’t have a borderline shameful obsession with mushroom. (I literally just googled “disorder: people who marry vegetables” because I thought there might be a hilariously awesome word for crazyfolk who try to do stuff like this somewhere, but alas, I must be the first.) My problems aside, this is creamy, comforting goodness, so go get your Ina on, girl.
5 oz shiitake mushrooms
5 oz portobello mushrooms
5 oz cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 pound + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme + 1 tsp minced thyme, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts chopped (2 leeks)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
- Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and or cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Make the stock:
- Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, onion, carrot, sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Strain, reserving the liquid. (You should have about 4.5 cups of stock. If not, add some water.)
- Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown.
- Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot.
- Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat through (do not boil).
My love affair with broth is almost as well-documented (and maligned) as my common law marriage to pickle juice, so this post is a foregone conclusion. The Chef made this just the other day “for fun” (a reason I obviously gave him crap for but secretly was super pleased with).
He points out that the 24-hour cooking time provides the added bonus of making the house smell amazing, and that is definitely true. Plus it freezes well, so he suggests you make a, shall we say, “boat”load? Sure. Boatload. Make that much.
5 lbs of beef bones
5 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 large red onion, roughly chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped
handful of thyme sprigs
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place bones and veggies on a sheet pan. Rub with oil and roast until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
- Place bones and veggies in a large pot. Cover with water (at least 4 quarts). Add thyme and simmer for 24 hours.
- Make something awesome with it. Obviously I suggest soup. Or just drinking it with a straw. Whichev.
This sauce was easy. And it was also easily the best marinara I’ve had in a while. I think the carrot really brings something to the texture and taste. And you get to use an immersion blender which always makes me feel very chef-like and professional. 2 good things in my book.
Furthermore, anything that could make me forgive Mario Batali for wearing those hideous Crocs is something to take note of. I hate those things. I mean, my pajamas are comfortable, but I don’t wear them to the office. Put real clothes on. You’re a grown-ass man.
6 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, diced to 1/4-inch
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes, crushed by hand and mixed well with their juices
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt to taste
- Add oil to a sauce pan with onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until translucent but not brown (about 10 minutes).
- Add the thyme and carrot. Cook 5 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to just bubbling, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add these fantastic meatballs and serve over angel hair pasta. Molto bene! (That’s Italian y’all. Don’t say we never taught you anything.)
I think Germany was my favorite part of Epcot. Since I’ve been there, I clearly have a full understanding of German food. It’s all brats and beer, right?
As it turns out, The Chef says they have veggies in Germany too. And these braised ones would definitely be a great side dish… for the brats I assume they eat at every meal.
1 ounce of butter
1/4 cup of yellow onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup celery, cut into 3 inch pieces
1/4 cup carrot, small diced
1/4 cup cabbage, large diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ounce of honey
5 ounces of German beer
salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a pot.
- Add all of the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low to medium heat until well softened.
- Add honey and beer and simmer until tender. Be sure not to over cook because they will get mushy.
Proving every day that she is a woman after my own heart, Runyan informs me she too thinks soup is the cat’s pajamas. This is her fave.
From Runyan: A requisite of my current recipe repertoire is that I eat whatever-dish-it-is at least three times a week. Living alone, being poor, and ultimately being too lazy to go to the grocery store more than once every 10 days makes this a necessity. While this is not authentic posole, it’s tasty nonetheless. Here yar:
2-3 poblano peppers
5-6 tomatillos (both of these items depend on size, aim for medium I suppose)
5 cloves garlic
2 medium onions (one cut into large pieces, one chopped into smaller pieces)
2 chicken breasts (I prefer on the bone)
1 large can hominy (Could definitely find this in that mexican market you mentioned in your post but I find it at Whole Foods)
1-2 of those boxes of stock (Wish I made my own but alas…)
bunch of cilantro
cayenne or other chili
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Coat the chicken with some olive oil, LOTS of salt and pepper and put in the oven to roast for roughly 20 minutes. (You can also just buy one of those rotisserie chickens if you’re feeling lazy.)
- When cooked, shred up chicken and set aside.
- Crank up the oven to 450. Do the same olive oil, S&P routine with the poblanos, tomatillos (after removing papery skin, natch), garlic, and onion. Put on a sheet pan and put in the oven to roast until the veggies start getting a little brown. Once brown remove them, let them cool, and blend them up in a blender. Set aside.
- Heat some oil in your soup pot, add other onion, sliced carrot, cumin, cayenne (or actual chili) and cook for 10-15 mins over medium high heat.
- Add the blended, roasted veggies and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Add stock (at least 1.5 boxes, maybe more). Add drained, rinsed posole. Bring to simmer/low boil. Add chicken and simmer until warm.
- Garnish with cilantro, thinly slided radish, sliced avocado and/or tortilla chips. (To me, cheese gets in the way here but knock yourself out.)
I have a confession to make: I don’t make stock. I have once or twice, but it’s not a habit, and I definitely don’t make it as much as someone who eats soup for 2 out of every 3 meals should.
That stops now. I don’t generally make New Years’ Resolutions or give up anything for Lent (because I know I’ll inevitably fail at both – what’s that saying… You can’t fail if you don’t try? That’s right kids, adopt that one early.), but I’m gonna do it right the next time. And you should too because this stuff is magical when added to Barrett’s Shrimp ‘n Grits.
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cups of uncooked shrimp shells (which means you can use the peeled shrimp for some other nummy goodness such as Peg’s Destin Shrimp)
2 small onions, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
2 celery stalk,s chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
4 thyme sprigs
6 cups of cold water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
splash of white wine
- Heat oil in medium stockpot over medium high heat. Add shrimp, onions, carrots and celery. Cook until the shrimp shells are bright pink, about 15 minutes.
- Once the shells are cooked add the tomato paste. Add water, bay leaf, peppercorns, and thyme sprigs. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Strain in to a container. Let cool. This recipe makes 3 cups, which seems like a lot, but you can freeze it up to 6 months.
Filed under Seafood, Soups
This November was the month of the short rib. We used them to celebrate 5 different birthdays, and everyone gave these rave reviews. Despite the fact that you can find short ribs in all the high-falutin’ restaurants, I was surprised to learn they are actually not that expensive.
While this recipe takes a little time, it’s not nearly as complex as it looks. Plus it has that fancy-pants quality that makes your guests jealous of your culinary prowess, and I think we all know that’s why you have people over for dinner in the first place.
6 pounds of bone in short ribs
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 celery stalks, pureed
1 carrot, pureed
1 yellow onion, pureed
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
1 quart beef stock
2 cups red wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- The day before you cook the short ribs , season them with salt and pepper and refrigerate. You can also puree the veggies ahead of time. Pureeing is what gives you a nice, thick sauce, so don’t skip it.
- The day you plan to eat the short ribs you will need to start the cooking process 5 hours ahead of time. Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add half of the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer ribs to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the ribs, adding more oil if you need to.
- Add celery, carrot, and onion to the pan along with a good pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until softened.
- Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add stock, wine, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Return the short ribs to the pan, cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour.
- Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and cook for 4 hours.Remove the ribs to a large bowl. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
- While the sauce reduces, skim the excess fat off. Serve ribs with sauce on top.
The Chef likes to serve these over linguine, horseradish mashed potatoes, or cheddar grits and likes to garnish the plates with freshly grated horseradish. Zesty.