I am not sure about you, but, I am exhausted from being cold. It is almost June, and it feels like the end of October here in the Bay Area. While we used to it when we lived in San Francisco, Oakland was a different animal when we moved here six years ago. Sunshine and ten to fifteen degrees warmer were always guaranteed. These past five-months has been downright depressing; cold, wet, and blistery. I know we need rain, but enough is enough. The only good thing about this kind of weather is being able to make recipes such as this Pork Osso Buco, which is what we did over the weekend.
I have made Osso Buco many times using veal or beef, and this was a first (and not a last) with pork. We received some gorgeous pork shanks with our Butcher Box delivery, and I knew they would be perfect for a comforting meal such as this. Little did I know the weather would also work perfectly for hunkering down and making comfort food.
This recipe takes time to make, but that is half of the fun when cooking comfort food at home. Hours cooking on the stove not only warms the house but warms your soul. By the time it was dinner time, we were starving from the aromas of meat and herbs braising all day long. It does serve six, and since there were only two of us that night for dinner, I did use the leftovers for a couple of different meals. We had some great tacos one evening, and I made a gorgeous breakfast hash another morning. If you have leftovers, remember to get creative in the kitchen and enjoy a couple of different ways!
Has it warmed up where you live? Are you enjoying summertime food yet, or still enjoying comfort food as we are?
Recipe: Pork Osso Buco
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 pork shanks – 2 1/4 pounds
3 tablespoons pork lard or olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon smoked chili flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine, something you would drink
1 cup chicken stock
a handful of Italian parsley, finely minced
zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pat the shanks dry with paper towels, this will help them brown more evenly.
Place the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate and mix lightly with a fork. Dredge the shanks in the flour, shaking off the excess.
In a large dutch oven heat the lard or the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shanks to the pan and brown all sides; about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks, place them on a plate, and set them aside.
Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pot. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and chili flakes.
Add the shanks to the pot and pour in the wine and the stock. Over medium-low heat cook for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone. I check every 30 minutes, turning the shanks over and adding a little more stock if the liquid gets too low. It should not go below 1/2 way up the shank.
Remove the shanks and place them onto a serving platter.
Stir the butter into the juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour over the shanks.
Garnish with parsley and lemon zest.