Here in Virginia fall has arrived and the air is crisp and cool. The leaves here are turning glorious shades of orange and yellow, and fall seasonal recipes are in full swing. Hearty meals, fabulous fall vegetables, and pies and dumplings are now on the menu. By far one of my favorite everyday fall meals is Beef Osso Buco. (Osso Buco literally translates to “marrow bone.” It is delicious, satisfying, and hearty.
My mom and I have already been hard at work on our second cookbook testing recipes. My mom living in an apron and me with my camera permanently attached to my arm. Although things are hectic we could not love it more. Cameras and recipe testing have been the name of the game lately.
Virginia is such a diverse state we like to get out and explore the sights for recipe inspiration. Fall is a totally amazing time to see the state and to source local ingredients for recipes. Whether it is a charming storybook town or a derelict spooky site there is so much to see here. If we are especially lucky we manage to discover new food photography props for my photos.
Beef Osso Buco is Italian and one you will want to keep in your recipe box. It is a three part meal with the Osso Buco, Polenta, and the Gremolata. It makes a divine trio of fresh herbs, polenta, and beef.
Beef Osso Buco
3 beef shanks (approximately 2 1/2 pounds total)
½ cup flour (use potato flour for a gluten-free version)
4 Tbsp. olive oil – divided
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 medium onions, diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsps. thyme
Leaves from a sprig of Rosemary
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups gluten free beef broth (read the label, many broths contain barley or malt)
2 cups dry white wine (or use dry red wine for a more robust flavor)
Coat beef shanks in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet and brown shanks on both sides. Shanks are large, so you may need to brown them in batches. (Additional olive oil may be required.) When browned, put the shanks in a large soup pot (or crock pot). Add beef broth to skillet and heat to boiling, stirring to descale. Stir in wine and pour the mixture over the shanks.
Sauté the diced vegetables and seasonings in 1 Tbsp. olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add to shanks and bring to boil, then simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender. (If using a crock pot, cook on high for 1 hour, then low for an additional 5 hours or until tender). Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.
5 cups beef broth
1 cup corn grits
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
Bring broth to a boil and gradually whisk in grits. Turn burner to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally using long handled spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and butter. Spoon into individual bowls as a base for Osso Buco.
Gremolata is a condiment traditionally served with Ossobuco, grilled meats and vegetables. It is generally made from parsley, garlic and lemon. This version uses cilantro instead of parsley, and adds rosemary and anchovies. Use sparingly.
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 anchovy fillet, packed in oil, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until all pieces are finely minced. (or finely chop all ingredients with knife and mix together) Serve sparingly with meats and vegetables.