“I’m sure every cook who loves Italian food has a special recipe for osso buco,” Judith Jones writes in “The Pleasures of Cooking for One.” “But I’m not so sure that anyone has a recipe to serve one, because it’s not the sort of thing you make for just one person. But it’s simple to reduce. The crucial factor is the pot; you need that heavy 4-cup pot with its own lid, so that your shank piece just fits into it and the liquid level stays almost to the top of the meat while it is simmering. That way, you don’t require too much cooking liquid, and the flavor develops intensity. I sometimes make this on a Saturday afternoon, when an Italian opera is playing on the radio, and just hearing the singing and smelling the osso buco as it perks away on the stove heightens my anticipation of a lovely meal to come.”
Osso Buco With Gremolata
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (2-inch) veal shank, cut across the bone
1 small-to-medium onion, chopped
½ carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small leek or ½ large leek, cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper
Small sprig of fresh rosemary or a pinch of dried rosemary
5 or 6 fresh parsley stems
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
About 2 strips lemon peel (without pith), minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in your small pot. Rub salt over the veal shank, and put it into the sizzling oil. Brown lightly on one side, then turn and brown the other. Turn the veal on its side to make room for the onion, carrot, tomato and leek pieces. Sauté them for a minute or two , then flip the shank over so it is bone-side down, and pour in the wine. Stir to get up any browned bits, and reduce the wine by half. Pour in the broth; add several grindings of pepper, lay the rosemary and parsley stems on top, and cover. Let cook for 1 ¾ hours at a gentle simmer.
[amazon-product]0307270726[/amazon-product]Meanwhile, put together the gremolata – the tasty, garlicky topping – by simply mixing the minced garlic, lemon peel and parsley together.
When the meat is very tender, remove it to a warm plate, discarding the parsley stems, and sprinkle the top with as much of the gremolata as you like. Eat with some crusty bread to sop up the sauce. And don’t forget the marrow. Use a little coffee spoon to scrape it out and extract the last precious morsel.
Makes 1 serving.
From “The Pleasures of Cooking for One” by Judith Jones