It’s not often here at o5 we write about recipes in the traditional sense- as in food. But sometimes the taste buds dictate and as the irreverent George Bernard Shaw wrote: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food…“. And one has to say, with all the lifestyle tips in the world, a life starved of good food is lacking some balance! There is no better country or culture who demonstrates such an appropriate passion and refined love of food (from the grandiose to the humble) than the Italians. One could write about a thousand recipes from this land of homemade pasta and gelato, but this writer is compelled to discuss a dish (& guess at the recipe!) from an Italian Restaurant in Manila (of all places?!).
Casa Nostra Restaurant (which means “our home” in Italian) quite simply has the best Ossobuco Milanese (Ossobuco in Italian means “bone with a hole“) I have ever tasted! I wondered how this could be as am no stranger to Italy or that matter Milan- so I decided to find out about the subtleties that probably had escaped my previously inebriated experiences.
Indeed, the recipe is not as complex as one might think…
* 4 ossibuchi (veal shin)
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* plain flour, for dusting
* salt and pepper
* 30g/1oz butter
* 1 small onion, chopped very finely
* ½ celery stick, chopped finely
* 150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
* 290ml/10fl oz hot stock
For the gremolata
* 1 lemon, zest only, grated
* ½ garlic clove, thinly chopped
* 1 tbsp thinly chopped parsley
1. Choose a sauté pan large enough to fit all the ossibuchi in one layer.
2. Heat the oil and brown the ossibuchi on both sides after lightly dusting them with flour. Remove them from the pan and reserve.
3. Add the butter to the pan and add the chopped vegetables with a pinch of salt to cook them gently without burning for a few minutes. When the vegetables are soft return the meat to the pan and add the wine. Cook gently until the moisture is almost completely dried out.
4. Add the hot stock, turn the heat down and cover with a tight lid. Cook gently for 1½ hours or until the meat is coming off the bone, turning them every 20 minutes or so. When turning the ossibuchi make sure that you lift them gently with a spatula so that they stay in one piece and the marrow is not lost.
5. When cooked place the ossibuchi on to the serving dish and keep them warm. Mix all the gremolata ingredients together and sprinkle on to the ossibuchi before serving.
And then enjoy! They say Ossobuco was first attested in the late 19th century as an invention of an “Osteria“, a neighborhood restaurant of Milan. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak, but for those of you looking to try something truly authentic (& regional) in terms of Italian food- you won’t regret it. Then again…when you’re next in Manila, you could pop into Casa Nostra Restaurant and try it served by the best (seems the chef is Italian!).