In our home, we don’t normally prepare beef, so cooking Osso Buco for my hubby’s birthday is already a special treat for us. The reason is that my mother-in-law is very concerned about the cholesterol content in beef. We do buy pork but she always has the fatty parts removed so that we only get to eat the lean meat.
Thankfully, we attended an event by the Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil here in Bacolod, featuring Chef Donita Rose. If you can recall, Donita was a famous actress and MTV VJ. But eventually, marriage and family has changed her focus and she studied to become a chef. She is very passionate about leveling up the dishes that she whips up in the kitchen, particularly focusing on preparing food using healthy and natural ingredients. Chef Donita is an avid user of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil because she is bent on making her dishes heart-healthy. “We must always be conscious that the ingredients that we use should be good for the heart, like Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, which contains the lowest amount of bad fats (saturated fats) but packs in the good kind like Omega 3 and 6,” Donita says.
So with that, I am not guilty of preparing Osso Buco for my husband. Besides, it’s not every day that it’s his birthday. Since the family is not really into Italian food except for my husband, I skipped the gremolata and risotto and just prepared other things. Here are the things that I prepared for my husband’s birthday: All About His Favorites…Just Because He is Loved
Anyway, here’s my recipe. I just have to apologize that I failed to take photos of the preparation because I spent all day in the kitchen for the six dishes that I cooked on the same day.
4 slices beef shank (about 1.5 kg)
Flour, for dredging
Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, for frying
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 Tbsps. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil
2 cups white wine
1 cup sliced celery (mostly stalks)
1 cup diced carrots
3 pcs. laurel leaves
3 pcs. green chili
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
Salt and pepper, to taste
About 5 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsps. tomato paste
Celery leaves, sliced finely
1. Wash the beef shanks, let it drip, then pat dry. Tie a string around the beef tightly then dredge in flour. In my case, I coated it thickly and you will learn the reason why.
2. Heat enough amount of oil in a big pan where you will also cook the dish. Fry the shanks, about 2-3 minutes per side. Set aside.
3. If there are some burned flour on the pan, remove them with a ladle, along with some of the oil.
4. Saute the garlic and onions and add in the shanks, placing them side by side. Then pour in the wine. Bring to a boil.
5. Add the celery, carrots, laurel leaves, green chili, bell peppers, and peppercorns. Season with a little salt and ground black pepper. Mix well so that the vegetables get submerged in the liquid. Cook covered in medium heat
6. When wine has reduced, about 15-20 minutes of boiling, add chicken stock. While most people would add it gradually, I added the five cups of stock altogether. I kept cooking it over medium it for about 40 minutes until I checked if the beef is already tender, so I never opened the pan. I used the pan with a crystal cover so that I won’t have to keep opening it and release the heat. Then I cooked it for another 30 minutes. If you find the pan drying up, add more liquid. If you don’t have anymore chicken stock, just add hot water and season it again with salt.
7. When the beef is tender enough, add the tomato paste and cook about five minutes more. Then stir in the celery leaves. The heat will just cook it.
8. Remove the laurel leaves and serve hot.
This Osso Buco has a rather thick, gravy-like sauce. That’s because I laid on the flour pretty thick when I first fried the shanks. But that’s okay, it came out fine. And I am happy because the bone marrow was intact when I served the Osso Buco. The meat was so tender but not overcooked so as to cause the marrow to fall off into the sauce. Ahhh happiness. haha And that is why I needed to fry it in Jolly Heart Mate canola oil. I also omitted the rosemary and thyme and I preferred it that way.
Kitchen hack: I really don’t have the time and patience to prepare chicken stock. So I just boiled water with a couple of chicken cubes. Not very healthy but does the trick.
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