Beef Osso Bucco-perfect winter eating June 2011

Beef shin is such a great winter meat cut. It sounds that more glamorous too when called Osso Bucco which is usually veal shin but at a fraction of the price. So today it is my casserole dish cooking away quietly as I type this.
With the bone still in, you are getting all of that marrow goodness when it cooks, slowly dissolving all that tissue and muscle to be so soft that I simply mush it all up with a fork. I really love the lemon addition as well as the white wine as this makes it a little lighter than with red wine and tomatoes. The lemon helps to cut the fatty mouth feel better too.
When I have the time I make gnocchi to serve it with-that soft on soft works really well, especially with a pile of grana padano over the top but otherwise Im equally happy with a good quality short pasta.

1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 chunks beef shin weighing about 700-900g
4-5 good quality anchovies
2 tablespoons capers
1 lemon, skin removed with a potato peeler in strips
4 cm piece of leek-white part only, very finely chopped
chunk pumpkin, peeled and chopped roughly
at least 1/2 bottle white wine
salt and pepper
Large handful Italian parsley, washed and finely chopped

Brown off your onions and garlic till softened in a little grape seed oil
Add the capers, anchovies lemon rind and leek. Mix well making sure is coated in oil
Add the beef and lay the pumpkin over the top ( you can brown the beef first if you like but I have found it doesn't seem to make a massive amount of difference to the taste at the end)
Pour in at least half a bottle of white wine and top up to cover the beef with water.
Place a lid on the dish and cook very slowly and gently either in a preheated oven at 170C for 2 hours or on the top of the stove for around 2 hours.
Test to see how soft the beef is after this time and if yielding easily, remove the lid and allow some of the excess liquid to evaporate off.
I like to simply mush all the ingredients together well, checking for seasoning.
Add in the Italian parsley and serve on pasta or gnocchi

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