Spring Braised Osso Bucco

by amyloun

Welcome to Main Street Meat’s blog!  We are excited to bring you recipes, photographs, and information surrounding humanely raised meat and seasonal living.  We are so proud of the local community of farmers and craftsmen who have made it easier for us to live richer, fuller, tastier, and more beautiful lives.  We hope this blog will inspire our readers to try new ways of cooking, eating, and thinking about meat!

Finished Osso Bucco Dish

Pork Osso Bucco braised with white wine, fennel, leek, and orange… served over goat cheese polenta and spicy bitter greens with a minty gremolata

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For this first blog post, we teamed up with local milk’s Beth Kirby for a day of cooking and learning- watching her do her magic. We met in the morning at Main Street Meats to see Milton, the head butcher, break down half a hog.  Then we headed off to Beth’s studio kitchen with our Osso Bucco and the rest of our ingredients to begin preparing our spring inspired meal.
Pork Shank

The evening before, at Main Street Meats, we got two whole forested hogs in from Cloudcrest Farm. We had dreams about the tender delicate pork shank of Osso Bucco with its light buttery fat, and Beth of localmilk had a spring braise on her mind… with flavors of orange, fennel, leek, and white wine.

 

Whole Ham

Cutting the Shank

Osso Bucco comes from the Shank which is the upper leg of the animal (pig or cow). Osso Bucco means “bone hole” in Italian, emphasizing the role of the bone marrow. Shanks tend to do best when they are cooked slowly at a low temperature.

 

something about leeks?

Veggies

For our Mirepoix (chopped veg to add wonderful flavor to any stock, soup, roast or braise.) we used Onion, Carrot and Leek… as opposed to the traditional: Onion, Carrot, Celery. We also added a larger chop of fennel which melds nicely with the Pork and orange spring flavors.

something about orange zest or how to zest?

As Beth says: “the orange is clutch.” You can’t get away without it in the dish. In fact, we kept cutting more slices or supremes with every bite of the osso bucco!

 

Osso Bucco

Raw Osso Bucco (pork shank).

something about searing/browning...?

Browning the shanks. Be patient during this time. If you’re like me you will need to set a mental timer for about 3 minutes before you even touch the shanks! You will get a better crust if you do this.

Cooking

Just before we put it in the oven… this is how much liquid you will want in the pan. You want the osso bucco peeking out of the liquid about halfway.

 

RECIPE:

Pork Osso Bucco

Serves 2-4 people

2 T + 1 tsp. olive oil (or lard)
2 3” pork shanks, liberally seasoned w/ salt & pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek diced
1 small carrot peeled & diced
1/2 small yellow onion diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock (should come 2/3 the way up the sides of the shanks)
1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped (about 1/2” chunks)
1 large leek, quartered length wise (to be added halfway through cooking)
supremes of half an orange (see this video on how to: zest & supreme an orange)
2 T. oregano (fresh oregano please)
salt & pepper (smoked salt if you got it)

Start by prepping the vegetables for the braise.  Salt and Pepper the Osso Bucco generously and brown in a heavy bottom oven safe crock.  Use 1 T. oil or lard over medium-high heat and wait a few minutes before even checking the meat to look for a nice brown crust.  Flip and do the other side before removing the meat and setting aside.  Preheat the oven to 250 F.  Then add a little more oil or lard if you need it and get the heat to medium to cook the vegetables.  Add the onion, carrot, garlic, leek and a little salt & pepper.  Sauté until slightly browned.  Then add stock, white wine, and orange supremes to your pot and return the Osso Bucco to the dish.  The liquid should only come halfway up the osso bucco- you don’t want to drown it or it will lose its nice brown crust you just worked so hard to achieve!! Bring the liquid almost to a simmer. DO NOT LET IT BOIL.  Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and place on the middle rack in the oven.

Cook at 250° 2.5-3 hrs, until it’s almost falling off the bone (should be tender & juicy but still hold together).  We served it over polenta and greens with the gremolata.

 

Goat Cheese Polenta

1 cup stone ground polenta (Ours was from Falls Mill Farm)
4 cups stock or water (add up to one cup extra as needed to reach desired consistency)
2.5 oz goat cheese (We used Bonnie Blue)
salt & pepper to taste

Follow cooking directions on your brand of polenta because cook times and water ratio may very. Add goat cheese just before you serve.

 

Gremolata

2 T fennel frond
1 T  (of one orange) zest
2 T green garlic minced (can sub 1 T garlic)
1 tsp minced mint
2 T minced parsley
2 finger pinch salt or to taste
1 T olive oil
2 T orange juice

Mix everything together. It will look like a very finely chopped salsa.

 

Spicy Bitter Greens

1 T. olive oil
1 bunch (about 4 cups) washed spicy and/or bitter greens (such as dandelion, mustard, arugula, etc)
2 tsp. lemon juice
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Just before serving put olive oil in a pan. On med low heat, add washed greens. Stir a couple of times over until just wilted remove from heat immediately. Add lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes.