There you have it, Ossobuco done with beef and red wine. Nothing could be further from the traditional veal version but there's also very few things that beat this particular stew!

Braised Beef Shank (Beef Ossobuco)

For this recipe, I'm going to use beef instead of veal for the simple reason that I want a very rich beef flavour in the end. As I mentioned, Ossobuco refers to the cross section of bone in the centre of the cut of meat. This is a marrow bone and as the meat cooks, the marrow softened and becomes quite buttery. We'll talk more about this below.

Ingredients for the main body of the stew:

2 Large beef shanks of about 650 g each (22 oz)
12 Pearl onions or similar small onions
12 White / button mushrooms, quartered
12 Cherry tomatoes
3 Potatoes, cut into large chunks
5 Branches of flat leaf parsley, left whole with the stems on
3 Bay leaves
Butter for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the roux and gravy:

3 tbsp Salted butter
4 tbsp White flour
1 1/2 cups Red wine
3 cups Water
2 Cubes of beef broth (Oxo for example) or 2 tbsp powdered
Salt and pepper to taste

Fornetto Stew Pot 

Method:

View the full blog post here

  • Preheat your Fornetto to 160C (320F).
  • Begin by seasoning the shanks with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • In a frying pan, melt butter over very high heat and sear the shanks on both sides to a rich golden brown.

So what exactly does braising accomplish? Tougher cuts of meat are generally the fibrous parts of the animal where the muscles were used extensively of the course of its life. They are high in collagen content and when they are cooked quickly, this toughens and gives you a cut that less than desirable. By allowing the meat to cook for an extended period of time, you give the collagen a chance to break down and convert to gelatine, a substance naturally found in bone, as the meat tenderises. In the image above you have an example of the colour you're wanting after having seared the meat. Be sure not to allow it to brown to deeply or to harden as no mater how long you cook meat that's beer over-seared, it will never soften up!

  • Once the shanks have been seared, remove them from the pan and place them in the stew pot.
  • Proceed by frying your vegetables, also over high heat, just enough that the outside browns but they don’t cook through. Fry the parsley as well until it wilts slightly. DO NOT FRY THE POTATOES. Leave the potatoes raw and add them to the pot.
  • Add the vegetables and bay leaves over top of the shanks and potatoes in the stew pot.

When the meat has been fried, continue on to fry the vegetables, all of them except for the potatoes. Frying the vegetables prior to cooking them in the stew pot will deepen and change their flavours dramatically giving you a richer flavour in the stew. Place the meat and the chunks of potatoes in the pot first and add in the lightly fired vegetables over top.

  • Prepare the roux. Begin by melting the butter over low heat.
  • Add the flour to the melted butter and fry over low heat without allowing the flour to brown.
  • Gradually add in the wine and the water while whisking continuously until you have a homogenous gravy.
  • Crumble in the beef broth cubes and whisk to dissolve.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour over top of the shanks and vegetables and don’t be concerned if the liquid does not cover everything.
  • Cover and allow the stew to cook in the Fornetto for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat falls cleanly away from the bone.

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  • Serve with fresh crusty bread and a fresh vegetable on the side.
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