Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Paleo autoimmune osso bucco

We buy a lot of beautiful grassfed meat from the good folks at Philly Cowshare.

The meat there is not only delicious, but it comes in sealed and labeled packages that serve the dual purpose of protecting the meat from freezer burn while informing you, often months after you made your purchase, what in the world those various cuts o'cow in your freezer are.

Every time we get a cowshare order, there are a couple packages labeled: "Osso Bucco." Finally, with the help of author Tim Ferriss, and his new book, The 4-Hour Chef, I have figured out what the hell to do with this stuff. It's delicious.

By the way, you should buy that book. It's awesome and is not, by any means, just a cookbook.

I would have just followed Tim's recipe to a T, but, as I have mentioned before, my wife follows a paleo autoimmune protocol and doesn't eat tomatoes. Tim's recipe calls for a can of whole tomatoes, so I had to change things up a bit in that regard. I opted for onions. Good call, as it turns out.

I could also pretend that, as a noted sommelier of substantial renown, I carefully made a strategic decision to highlight the underlying sweetness of the carrots and onions and thereby thoughtfully and carefully disregarded Tim Ferris' suggestion of a dry white wine as the cooking liquid in favor of a somewhat sweeter Riesling.

This would, however, be a damn dirty lie (from a damn dirty ape?). I don't know much about wine.

What happened in the vino store went as follows: Brain: "Must buy bottle of white wine." Taste buds: "Hate white wine!" Brain: "It's OK. Just buy cheap dry white, and we leave quickly." Eyes (to brain): "Look, brain! White wine! [Pause] Look again, brain! *Very* cheap white wine!" Brain: "Label says, 'Riesling.' Brain has heard of that before. Oooh... *very* cheap. Will buy."

Upon returning home, I noticed the part of the label that said, "Natural sweetness!" Oof. That's not really dry white wine, is it? Opting for convenience rather than adherence to the undoubtedly arbitrary rules set forth by The Man, I plowed ahead with Recipe Deviation #2 (or #3, if you count the fact that my ossos were beef, not lamb).

The cooking method, however, is purely Mr. Ferriss'. Unlike most osso-bucco recipes, his version involves no searing of the meat before the rest of the cooking, and it generally is just so stupidly easy that even I can crash about the kitchen, distractedly checking Facebook while rocking out to my latest kitchen, er, appliance -- the Bose Sounddock -- and still emerge victorious with osso fully buccoed.

It goes like this:

-- three osso bucco shanks (the cross-section cut that gives you a donut-shaped bone surrounded by glorious meaty goodness) (it could be two, by the way, or four... whatever)
-- enough baby carrots to cover the bottom of your cast-iron Dutch oven
-- one sweet onion
-- four or five garlic cloves, minced
-- some extra virgin olive oil
-- salt and pepper
-- bottle of white wine (dry? not-so-dry? your call)

Then do this:

-- preheat oven to 350 degrees (yes, Fahrenheit; this is America)
-- make sure the meat/bones are fully defrosted
-- chop up the onion and cover the bottom of a cast-iron Dutch oven with the onions and carrots.
-- lay meat/bones on top of the onions and carrots
-- pour in enough white wine to come up to about halfway up the side of the meat/bones. Don't submerge them.
-- drizzle some olive oil on top of the meat. Don't be stingy. You should be using Kassandrinos Imports olive oil, anyway, and it is so delicious that you will always want to use more, rather than less
-- slop garlic onto meat/bones.
-- grind on lots of pepper and then a bit of salt
-- put the lid on that baby, and put it in the oven for two hours.

It's great. The flavors are subtle. The slightly sweeter wine really does work great with the onions and carrots. The marrow inside the bone is amazing with the meat.

By the way, don't t you dare wuss out and fail to eat the marrow, or your paleo card will be revoked.

If you wanted to get all fancypants/adventurous, you could add a lot more spices than just garlic, salt and pepper. But some subtlety might be lost. Not being all that mysteriously subtle of a person, that fact does not bother me in the slightest, but it might bother you. My advice is to make it this way and experiment on the next batch with maybe ground chile peppers, or something equally dastardly/delicious. (No chiles for you autoimmune folks, though.... Sorry).

Enjoy, and, again, all credit to Tim Ferriss for the cooking method and much of the basic recipe. He da man. Buy his book.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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