Beef Short Ribs as Osso Bucco with Gremolata. Devastating.
Some dishes are just good. Fact. Osso Bucco is of those dishes; the melt in your mouth beef, the decadence of the chopped vegetables that have been cooked to a point where they fuse with the braising liquid and juices to create the most guilty of sauces, and the sharp freshness of the gremolata, without which, the dish my be far to rich for a person to survive. Using any cut other than a veal shank is akin to heresy (also factually wrong because Osso Bucco literally means hole in bone in Italian), but the reason I used the short ribs here is because my guests weren’t keen on big pieces of bone and marrow (shock, horror) and I figured that the short ribs were a good replacement. The short ribs did indeed work out great, I generally think short rib meat tastes a bit better than the shank, which kind of compensates for the lack of delicious marrow to scoop out of the bone. All in all, this was a spectacular and easy dish.
For the Osso Bucco (based on the wonderful Mario Batali recipe):
(Serves 4-6 mains depending on hunger level and how filling your accompaniments are)
1.5 to 2kg of beef short ribs cut into individual riblets
1 1/2 medium sized carrots cut into discs
1 large brown onion diced
1 large celery stick diced
1 large sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary
2 cups of good chicken stock
2 cups of dry white wine
2 cups of passata
3 cloves of garlic peeled and lightly crushed
2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Flour to dredge
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
Dredge the ribs in flour, tapping away the excess flour. then season with salt and pepper liberally. In a large dutch oven over a high heat, add some olive oil, brown the meat in batches on all sides until everything’s nice and brown all over, a process that will take about 20mins. Reserve the meat on the side, add more olive oil and reduce the meat to medium high then add all the vegetables and cook off until they soften for about 10mins. Add some of the wine and deglaze the bottom of the dutch oven, scraping away all the tasty bits. Add back the meat and any juices that might have drained out, and then add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the dutch oven and place in the oven for at least 2hours. Check on the braise about 1 hour in and then again once every half hour, taste the sauce for seasoning and if the liquid reduces too much, top up with chicken stock. Remove the lid for the last 10-15mins of cooking to reduce and thicken the sauce. Remove the dutch oven and set aside, uncovered, while you make the gremolata.
For the gremolata:
2 Garlic cloves, grated
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
Zest of one lemon
Salt and pepper
About two tsp of extra virgin olive oil
Plate by placing the ribs on the serving plates, then draining the excess oil from on top of the sauce, then covering the ribs with sauce and then adding about 1-2 tsp of gremolata per plate. Hope you enjoy!