Friday, November 26, 2010

Osso Bucco di Asti e Porcini Risotto

You really have to respect this plate of food.  It is fine Italian cooking from the Asti region.  Asti mountain cooking is full of lighter flavors.  Lemon and sage is a nice combination for veal shanks. 
     Recipe:  Saute a little bit of coarse chopped garlic with a little bit of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add a couple of veal shanks.  Add a mirepoix of some diced carrot, onion and celery.  Saute the veal shanks and vegetables lightly.  Cook the veal shanks on both sides till a little bit of brown color appears. 
     Add water, a splash of dry white wine, 1 bay leaf, a few sage leaves, sea salt, white pepper and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  (Be sure to add enough liquid to cover the veal.)  Place the saute pan in a 350 degree oven, uncovered.  Let it bake in the oven till the vegetables are tender and the veal shanks are fully cooked. 
     Remove the pan from the oven and set the veal shanks on a plate.  Reduce the rich broth till a thin brothy sauce is formed.  Remove the bay leaf and the sage leaves.  Spoon the vegetables and thin sauce around the veal.  Garnish with lemon slices. 
     Porcini Risotto Recipe:  Boil some chopped porcini mushrooms in water and save the broth.  Saute chopped garlic and uncooked rice in a little olive oil over medium heat.  (Destarching the rice is necessary.)  Add an amount of the porcini mushroom broth equal to the amount of rice.  Add the chopped porcini, sea salt and white pepper.  Stir and reduce till the rice is almost dry. 
     Add another ladle of hot porcini broth equal to the amount of rice.  Reduce and stir till the rice is almost dry. 
     Add a third ladle of the hot porcini broth.  Reduce and stir till the rice is almost dry.  By this time, after about 20 minutes, the rice should be a little bit creamy and slightly beyond al dente.  Add a couple of unsalted butter pats and a little bit of grated parmesan cheese while stirring.  Stir till the rice is creamy and thick.  Spoon the porcini risotto onto the plate. 
     By far, this porcini flavored risotto is one of the best!  The flavor and aroma of porcini mushrooms is fantastic.  If you use dried porcini, let them soak in water till soft.  (Save that broth too.)  I used long grain rice for this risotto but you can make risotto with any rice or a variety of grains other than rice.  The lemon and sage flavor of the Osso Bucco is breath taking!  The marrow is cooked to perfection in my photo.  A knife or marrow spoon is needed with this plate of food.  Even after baking and reducing, the vegetables were just beyond al dente and not mushy.  I love Asti cooking and the Porcini risotto is my favorite risotto.  Ciao Baby!  ...    Shawna

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