Buffalo Osso Bucco
My parents only live an hour away from me, so I often pop down there just to say hi. One such time, a couple of years ago, I got there and they were out. So I texted my mum, who responded with a “back in a bit, food in the fridge” and I went to raid the leftovers. I pulled out a big tupperware full of a stew of some kind, grabbed a fork and start eating. It was delicious– like a mixture between chicken and beef. I’d never had anything like it before. And then there were these bones, filled with creamy marrow that I couldn’t get enough of. I ate about half of it before mum called to say she was on her way.
I asked her what the stew was, and she changed the subject. This put me on guard a bit. So I changed the subject back.
“Um… it’s Osso Bucco.” she said.
“Wow, I’ve never had it before mama. What kind of meat is it? It’s the nicest meat I’ve ever had.”
“Um… it’s… cow.”
“Cow? What do you mean c… *GASP* oh no mama… it’s… VEAL?”
I paused, my mind reeling with horrified thoughts. I’d vowed that I’d never touch the stuff. It was inhumane, horrible, awful. And yet I had been tricked into it by a tub of sweet-smelling leftovers. What had I done? More horrifyingly still…
“But it was good.” I whispered.
All I could think about was how delicious that marrow was, and how I wanted more.
Two years later, I still think about it. No marrow I’ve eaten since has tasted quite as good to me as that veal marrow, but I just can’t bring myself to eat it. At the market last week, Jam and I were chatting to the buffalo lady and she mentioned that she had some osso bucco. It wasn’t unbearably expensive either. So we rushed it home, changed the meal plan for the week, and I called my mum to get her recipe.
If you like osso bucco, this is delicious. If you like to such the creamy marrow out of bones like I do, then get a few extra to throw in there, to have on toast for lunch the next day.
Bison Osso Bucco
serves 2– double quantities for 4
For the meat:
2 osso bucco portions
2 carrots (chopped)
2 celery sticks (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
2 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup white wine
thyme, oregano, savoury and one green leek leaf (you can use cheesecloth too).
Optional: some extra pieces of marrow bone– we happened to buy them at the market, and just threw them in with the stew, and it was amazing.
For the dressing:
1/2 bunch parsley
rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Preheat oven to 325.
Make a bouquet garni from the herbs and leek (or muslin): place the herbs in the middle of the leek leaf, then wrap them up tightly, and tie off each end with a piece of string.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, sear the occo bucco pieces over high heat, in olive oil or lard, until browned. Remove from the pan, and then add the onions, carrots and celery and salt. Cook, on medium heat, until the vegetables get soft, then add the garlic and cook for another five minutes. Add the osso bucco pieces back to the pan, and the extra marrow pieces, if using.
Pour in the wine, and then the stock, and pop the bouquet somewhere in the pan.
Cover, and put in the oven. Cook for 1-1 1/2 hours.
To make the dressing, in a pestle and mortar, grind up all of the ingredients until a paste has been made. In a pinch, you can just chop them all finely and mix. Spoon over the top of the osso bucco on a plate.