Anyway, I've been
As is the case with many accomodating people, WSH Jim thinks if 1 is good 5 is probably a lot better. In this case, the last time I asked for veal bones, he brought me ten pounds of lovely bones, but they had no meat on them to speak of. Via The French Laundry recipe I made a lovely veal stock but it uses a huge amount of tomato paste and is ridiculously hard and time consuming. This time I asked for "meaty bones" and here's what he brought:
Isn't that gorgeous? Ten pounds which was what I asked for, of what would you say? Bony Meat? In any case, while veal stock is truly a worthwhile endeavor, I couldn't bring myself to dedicate all ten pounds of this beautiful veal shank to stock. Hence, we are improvising Osso Bucco; and there isn't much better food for a cold rainy day than a slow braised meat. Usually, Osso Bucco is made from shanks where the bone is 3-4 inches thick. These are cut thinner, but as I said, it's improv!
Start by making a bouquet garni, which is some aromatic herbs wrapped in cheesecloth to flavor the sauce and not incorporate pieces in to it. When it's done just pull the cheesecloth bundle out. This is 1 bay leaf, some rosemary and thyme, 1 clove and few peppercorns.
Next heat some canola oil in a cast iron or heavy skillet until it shimmers. While it's heating, salt and pepper the shanks and dredge them in flour, shaking off the excess.
Add the pieces of veal back in the pan for a few minutes to heat through and get married with the new concentrated pan sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Oops missed a carrot I see.
I can't post a Veal recipe without adding a note about Veal. I know a lot of people won't eat veal. I understand that, I used to be one of you. But ask yourself this: Do you eat Lamb? Do you know that the Chicken you eat lived just a few short weeks? When I heard John Mackay interviewed once (founder of Whole Foods and a vegan himself) he was asked if he had misgivings about selling meat in his stores. He said he didn't buy the animal death argument, because everything alive will one day die. It's the treatment of the animals during life and at the end that matters. I've often pondered that eternal paradox: that life requires death. OK too philsophical for a food blog but it's a worthwhile reflection. Bottomline on veal is, if you want to try veal...do it. Just buy it from a responsible and humane source. It costs more but to me, it's worth it.
I'll be doing more "other tasty bites" and less French Laundry because quite frankly it became boring. Thomas Keller is a genius, an artist and an inspiration, but I am not Thomas Keller. I'll still post things from Bouchon and Ad Hoc because they are more my style. I'll be busy making veal stock the next day or two, hopefully I'll find an inspiring recipe to share while it simmers on the stove. OH! and Jim gave me a fancy shmancy skimmer which makes my stock making so much easier! Thank you Jim!
See you soon.