Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mario Batali's Dutch Oven Osso Buco

Ok, so this one is not going to be one of my typical recipe's that I'll post because A) it was time consuming and semi difficult B) it was a more expensive gourmet dish to make... not your every day wed night dinner C) you need a Cast Iron Dutch oven to make it and D) It made a MESS out of my kitchen!! Ok, maybe that was the cook, but still.

This was too yummy to not post though so here goes....

What you will need:
Dutch oven (6q, I have Mario Batali's)
*Four 3 inch thick veal shanks (about 3.5-4lbs) (I used beef shanks for my picky husband)
*Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*6T extra-virgin olive oil
*1 medium carrot, chopped into 1/4 inch coins
*1 small spanish onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
*1 rib celery, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
*2 T chopped fresh thyme
*2 cups BASIC TOMATO SAUCE (you can use your favorite store bought... or for the more adventurous like myself... see recipe below)
*2 cups chicken stock
*2 cups dry white wine

*1 bunch finely chopped italian parsley
*1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
*Grated zest of 1 lemon

*Angel hair pasta

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Season osso bucco all over with salt and pepper. In dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Place osso bucco in pot and brown all over, rolling to get all edges, about 12-15 mins. Remove shanks and set aside.
3. Add carrots, onion, celery, and thyme leave and cook, stirring often until golden brown and slightly softened, about 8-10 mins. Add tomato sauce, stock and wine and bring to boil. Place osso bucco back into pot, making sure they are submerged at least halfway.
4. Tightly cover pot, place in oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours and meat is falling off bone.
5. Meanwhile, make gremolata: In small bowl, mix chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts and lemon zest.
6. Remove osso bucco and let stand 10 mins. Springle the gremolata over top before serving.
**I served this over angel hair pasta.

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE (makes 4 cups)

*1/4 cup EVOO
*1 Spanish onion, finely diced
*4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
*3T chopped fresh thyme or 1 T dried thyme
*1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
*Two 28 oz cans peeled whole tomatoes
*kosher salt to taste

In 3 qt saucepan, heat EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook till soft and light golden brown, 8-10 mins. Add thyme and carrot and cook for 5 mins more, or until carrot is fork tender. With hands, crush tomatoes and add them with their juices. Bring to boil. Stirring often, and then lower heat and simmer for 30 mins or until sauce is as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt.

Like I said, futsy, but oh so worth it:)

If you are looking to buy a dutch oven, I LOVE mine. This is a great one and I highly recommend it. The clean up is a breeze! 

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