Loosely based on Bugialli's recipe for Ossobucco alla Novese, this is an excellent 'white' stew, where the combination of lemon, garlic, and rosemary is absolutely first class, and the finished dish is substantial without being heavy. Diced veal is a relatively cheap cut (at least in Italy it is), and so this recipe has the added merit of economy.
Since duck makes frequent appearances on the menu in this household, I generally have available duck fat and duck stock (both of which are used here); if you don't have them, don't worry - just substitute olive oil for the duck fat and chicken stock for the duck stock.
If you have any stew left over, then it can be ground up and used subsequently, mixed with a little grated parmesan and some fine breadcrumbs, as a filling for ravioli (which is what we'll be having as this evening's first course...)
Ingredients: 1 kg diced veal; 2 tbs duck fat; 1 lemon (peel only); spines from 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped finely; 2 cloves of garlic, minced finely; 2 teaspoons of capers; dry white wine - approx 15 fl oz; 2 cups duck stock.
1. Melt the fat in a heavy casserole. Finely slice the peel from the lemon, and along with the garlic and rosemary, add it to the melted fat. Sauté this mixture over medium heat for a few minutes, until it has visibly softened.
2. Add the diced veal to the casserole, turn up the heat and colour on all sides, stirring the whole time. Add salt.
3. When the veal is all coloured, add the white wine, to cover the meat, and allow the wine to come to the boil, and then simmer to reduce the liquid by about a third - this should take five minutes or so.
4. Add the capers to the mixture, then the stock. Again, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and let it cook over a very low heat for two hours or more (I always place the casserole over a heat diffuser for this process, to reduce the heat to a low enough level).
5. Just before serving, remove the meat from the liquid, and turn heat to high and boil vigorously for several minutes, stirring constantly, to reduce the liquid to a coating consistency. When it has reduced sufficiently, turn off the heat and return the meat briefly to the pan, to heat through again. Check and, if necessary, adjust seasoning before serving.