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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Apr '11

Tuesday. More Running.

Hitting the pavement again.

No billable hours, but busy, busy, busy. Unfortunately the sun was out today, which means I had to deal with an out of control lawn…right until the lawn mower stopped, luckily after I’d done the alley, back yard, two side yards and parking strip…the planting garden…not so much.

Today’s mail…putting the passport renewal in the mail, which meant getting new photos (and I had 3 reams of 11×17 chopped down to 8.5×11 while I was as Kinkos/FedEx). 4-6 weeks from now, new passport and handy wallet card for cruise ships.

Speaking of crusie ships, had a nice conversation with the Colonels about a trip to Eygpt — by the end of it we were congratulating ourselves on not spending $15,000 for 15 days plus air for the three of us. Thinking Holland America Trans-Atlantic that calls at Tunis and Morocco this springl.

I managed to catch a 15-minute KatNap(TM) this afternoon, but it wasn’t enough.

Tonight’s dinner is what I started on last night, the Osso Bucco, served at Swanda’s place:

Uncle Markie’s Osso Buco

Serves 3 (or Swanda and I)

Prep time: ½ hour    Cook time: 1 ½ hour

  • 3 Nice Lamb or Veal Shanks, 1 ½” Thick or so
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Fresh Herbs (I Used Fresh Basil and Thyme) Minced To Taste
  • ½ Medium Onion Diced
  • 2 Carrots Diced
  • 2 Stalks of Celery Diced
  • Garlic (Minced or Paste or Whatever)
  • Flour and Montreal® Seasoning (or salt and pepper) for Dredging
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock (or Beef Stock if you want heavier)
  • 1 Can (16oz) Italian Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Can (16oz) White Cannellini Beans (a.k.a. Kidney, White), optional for some
  • ½ Cup Red Wine (or White if you wanted it lighter)

Dredge the veal or lamb shanks in the Montreal® seasoning and flour, shake off the excess. In an ovenproof covered cooking pot (Dutch oven, covered pan with metal handle) heat half the butter and all the olive oil (keeps the butter from burning) until the foam subsides, place the shanks in and cover.

Brown nicely on each side and if they will stand up, try and brown the sides of the shanks as well, adding additional butter and olive oil as needed. Remove to a plate as the shanks are browned. When all shanks are removed, deglaze (i.e. throw in some liquid) the pan with the wine (Red or White, your choice) scraping down the sides and the bottom of the pan and mixing the wine and grease together. Boil down a bit and reserve to the side in a small bowl.

To the same pan, now empty, and on low heat, add the rest of that grease (oh, I mean butter) and gently, oh so gently (swig of wine) soften the garlic, onion, carrots, celery. Once softened, oh so soft (swig of wine), stir in the herbs, the chicken/beef stock and the wine/grease mixture … the heat of the pan should allow the flavors to mingle. Add the shanks and wrestle them into the vegetable mixture and then cover with the can of chopped tomatoes.

At this point, you can refrigerate overnight is you are on deadline for a dinner tomorrow. Oh, shit. Yeah, that’s me! If not, shit, I should have had you preheat the oven.

Take the pan out of the fridge (leave on counter) and preheat your oven (oh, baby) to 325 degrees. When oven comes up to temp, stick the baby in the oven for 75 minutes and then add the Canned Cannellini beans and continue to cook for another 15 minutes (1½ hours if you don’t add the beans) or until the shanks are really tender.

Option 1: Pull the covered pan from the oven, turn the oven off, serve.

Option 2: For a richer sauce, pull the shanks out, put in the oven (now off) to keep warm, strain the pan juices into a small sauce pan and boil down to half and recombine before serving.

NOTES FROM THE END. Let that by cook another hour plus. It will make the meat flake more. Apparently this is one recipe that you CAN’T overcook.


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