Working in the kitchen means doing one-million things all at the same time. And all that hardwork will vanish in a span of just about an hour of service; in my case, in just about twenty minutes. Afterwards, expect another surge of grueling and agonizing prep work; doing the same process again and timing everything for another round of sweltering match.
The kitchen is a brotherhood of hardworking souls whereby the forthcoming menu is executed through questions; ‘how’s this?’, and ‘what’s next?, and in many cases, where? if a certain ingredient is unavailable or is lost in translation while an already barrage of pots are already churning on the stovetop and are seeking immediate attention and care. Substitutions are almost always welcomed. Managing time and ingredients combined with kitchen’s limited resources is where the skill of the cook comes in play, and it’s truly a crazy balancing act; hoping even that the oven won’t die down on you. A bottle of beer does help calm the nerves down after such brutal beating and that could be the best part of the day for anyone doing several thousand things, and all done under the gun.
When I reach home after encountering a miserable day as such, I look for a meal that’s very, very sedating. I search for something which I didn’t touch nor tasted in the professional kitchen where I was bludgeoned and as much as possible, very easy to prepare. A very delicately prepared sandwich works, but most often, I look for either a typical meat and rice partnership or just plain pasta. In some cases, I prepare breakfast for dinner which I think I will eventually do very soon.
The only way to prepare meat and satisfy my tired and worn out soul is to prepare days ahead; in my own turf. This has worked wonders for me; marinating meat days ahead or defrosting a particular cut several days before cooking. Just lately, I have been searching for a shank appropriate for an Osso Bucco. I could have bought a readily available beef shank, however, I had an appetite for veal, and when it was on the supermarket shelf, I took one and gave the Osso Bucco a test. It does not appear as regularly as the other beef or pork cuts. Moreover, I haven’t really cooked an Osso Bucco and after seeing several recipes on-line, I had an urge to give it a try. I just couldn’t resist.
This is an Osso Bucco alla Milanese in White Wine; a more traditional approach to the more modern one where crushed tomatoes are an integral part of the recipe. This is a simpler recipe with a natural intention of bringing forth the essence of the Shank itself. I made a simple Gremolata to finish and top it off and had added roasted green bell pepper and shallots as garnishes. I discarded the pine nuts in the Gremolata, and instead made it more tangy and garlicky (Pinoy essence).
- Veal Shank
- Spanish Onions, minced
- Garlic, minced
- Italian Herbs/Seasoning
- White wine
- Chicken Stock (or a demi)
- Green Bell Pepper, roasted & diced
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Parsley, finely minced
- Garlic, Roasted and minced to a paste
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Rind, finely minced
Season the shank and coat with flour. Brown the shank in both sides and set aside.
Saute the onion, garlic, herbs, bayleaves and pepperoncino using the same pan. Add the wine, chicken stock and cinnamon and stir constantly. Return the shank back into the pan, cover and shove everything in a preheated 300’C oven (low & slow).
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