Sunday 28 June 2009

Recipe: Osso Bucco with Orange

For years I've ignored the traditional Osso Bucco recipe - which uses tomatoes - in favour of a version Bugialli calls 'alla Novese', which is a 'white' recipe, where the usual combination of tomatoes and aromatic vegetables is replaced by lemon and garlic, green olives and white wine. Light and delicious, it has always seemed to me preferable to the indistinct mess of tomatoes and chopped vegetables that risks being mistaken for the base of a second-rate pizza. I've now discovered that the simple addition of orange to the traditional ingredients changes all that, however, and the citrus flavour more than adequately counter-balances the bland sweetness of the tomato. Well worth trying.

For four.

Ingredients: 4 Osso Bucco; 150g Carrots; 150g Onions; 100g Celery; 200g tinned tomatoes; 8 tbs Olive Oil; 30g Butter; grated zest of 1 Orange (or 1/4 teaspoon Orange Oil); 1 sprig fresh Thyme; 100 ml White Wine; 2 cloves Garlic, minced; 4 tbs Soy Sauce; approx 500 ml Chicken Stock; Seasoning. Chopped Parsley, for garnish when serving.


1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Heat half the Oil in a sauté pan and brown the Osso Bucco on both sides.

3. Remove the Osso Bucco pieces from the pan, add the Butter. Peel and dice Carrots and Onions, and dice the Celery. Add 2/3 of the Carrots and Onions to the pan, along with half of the Celery, the Orange zest (or Oil) and fresh Thyme. Sauté until the vegetables have completely collapsed, about ten minutes.

4. Add White wine, raise heat and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, then add Tomatoes, Garlic and Soy Sauce. Mix everything well together, then return the Osso Bucco pieces to the pan. Cover with Chicken Stock, put the lid on the pan, and put into the pre-heated oven for about one and a half hours.

5. Towards the end of this period, lightly sauté the remaining diced vegetables in the remaining Oil - they should be tender, but not entirely collapsed. Season lightly.

6. Remove Osso Bucco from the oven. Put the meat to one side, strain the cooking liquid and discard the vegetables. Reduce the sauce to a coating consistency, then return the Osso Bucco pieces to it, along with the sautéed vegetables, and re-heat gently for about five minutes. Check and adjust seasoning before serving.

Sprinkle with freshly chopped Parsley, once plated.