The Gluten Free Kitchen Makes Osso Bucco

July 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

You may think that writers block – chefs block?! – has ravaged the strawberry fields like Ireland’s 1845-1852 potato blight. Alas, the opposite is true, and too much time spent in the kitchen has left little time for blogging. It seems ironic yet apt that the time I have to blog is when I’m sitting down to eat lunch (yes this habit is why my laptop screen is marred by the flying juice of a sweet cob of corn!).

THIS week has been sunny but freezing so when I saw that my butcher had some lovely, meaty shin bones on special I immediately thought osso bucco. Osso bucco is a fantastic dish because this cut of the veal shank is usually quite inexpensive, which means you can spend the savings on two (or more?!) beautiful bottles of red – one for cooking, one for drinking. I love this recipe because its quick to prepare and then you leave it to do its thing for 2-3 hours, becoming thick and aromatic. Slow cooking makes the best of the bony cut leaving the meat meltingly soft and the marrow to suck out of the bones at the end. Osso bucco pieces from the hind shin will have more meat than those from the foreleg, so ask your butcher to cut it specially!

Now ideally you would cook this in a crockpot – no stirring involved, how easy?! – as it generates a much more even and intense heat. As I don’t have a crockpot, nor do I have temperature control on our appalling hot plates (how I dream of gas), I did this in my electric frypan and it worked really well. To stay gluten free I made mashed potato (and NB did his awesome sauteed spinach), you could also use polenta (yes GF), cous cous (not GF) or large shell pasta – most important is that you serve the meat on something that will soak up the deliciousness that is the sauce!

Gluten Free Osso Bucco

Serves 4-6

Preheat the oven to 180°c.

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. In batches, cook 2kg osso bucco (about 5cm thick) for 6-8 minutes, turning until brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 30g unsalted butter to the casserole and when it starts to sizzle add 4 anchovy fillets, 10 garlic cloves, crushed, and 2 chopped onions. Cook, stirring over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Add 1 peeled, sliced carrot, 2 thinly sliced celery stalks and stir until beginning to soften. Add 200g pitted kalamata olives, 1/4 cup capers (rinsed), 2 bay leaves, 1 cup beef stock or port, 1 cup red wine and 1l (4 cups) tomato passata (check ingredients list – it will be gluten free if there are no thickeners added).

Bring to the boil, then cover the casserole and transfer to the oven for 2-3 hours – check occasionally to make sure meat is covered with sauce. When cooked, if the sauce is too thin remove the meat and boil the sauce vigorously (isn’t that a divine word?!) over high heat with the lid off until it begins to thicken. Return meat to pan to heat through. Scatter with flat leaf parsley and serve with mash or polenta.

Hot Potato Tips!

  • Drain your potatoes really well before you mash them, dry potatoes make fluffier mash.
  • Leave the skin on for a change, just wash them really well first.
  • ‘Healthy’ mash – Use 2 tablespoons butter per 5 potatoes and 1/4 cup milk. Consider using a combination of potato, sweet potato and carrot for lower carbs. Salt and pepper are your friend!
  • Delicious mash – Go wild with the butter, taste test. Add two cloves of crushed garlic at the end. Mix up the potatoes – use desiree, Yukon gold potato or russet.

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