Ossobuco alla Milanese
Ossobuco alla Milanese
Anna del Conte is an Italian-born English food writer. Her cookbooks are to be found in every self-respecting cook’s kitchen. Her recipe for Ossobuco alla Milanese is about as authentic as can be, given that she was born in Milan and lived there until 1949 - apart from a few years during the war when she was sent to live in Emilia-Romagna.
Anna’s recipe for ossobuco is flavoured with a gremolada, and served with risotto alla Milanese or mashed potato it is utterly sublime.
You will need:
Flour for dusting
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ celery stick, finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
300ml good meat stock
2 bay leaves
For the gremolada:
5ml grated lemon rind
½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
15ml flat-leafed parsley, chopped
Tie the ossobuchi around and across as you would a parcel.
Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan, with a tight-fitting lid, large enough to hold the meat in a single layer. Heat the oil. Lightly coat the meat with some flour which has been seasoned with salt. Brown the meat on both sides, remove from the pan, and place to one side.
Add 30g of butter to the sauté pan, together with the chopped onion and celery. Sprinkle with a little salt which will draw some of the moisture from the onion so it softens without browning. When the vegetables are soft, return the meat to the pan, together with any juices.
Heat the wine and pour over the meat. Turn the heat up, reduce the liquid by half, all the while scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
Heat the stock in the same saucepan you used to heat the wine and pour about three-quarters of the stock over the meat. Add the bay leaves. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook the meat, turning the meat very gently every 20 minutes, for about 1½ to 2 hours until the meat comes away from the bone. If necessary, add more stock during the cooking time. If at the end of the cooking time the sauce is too thin, remove the meat from the pan and reduce the liquid by boiling briskly.
Transfer the meat to a heated serving dish and remove the string. Keep warm in a low oven. Remove the bay leaves from the liquid. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and gradually add to the sauce. As soon as the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat.
Mix the ingredients for the gremolada together and stir into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.
Serve the ossobuchi with a Bricco Riva Bianca from Andrea Picchioni in Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy. Alternatively, try it with a Brunello di Montalcino from Innocenti Vini in Montalcino, Tuscany.