Slim Palate’s Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata

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I’m still in Austin, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you and your cooking needs. Here’s a fantastic recipe you can braise in the oven TODAY for your Sunday supper:

Doesn’t this dish look fantastic? What’s even more amazing is that my guest blogger, Joshua Weissman, isn’t even old enough to vote yet. In fact, he just finished his finals for junior year last week. Of high school. Boy, do I feel old.

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Joshua Weissman is a 17-year-old food blogger with a passion for cooking, food and health. Joshua always loved food but his love for food led to an eventual weight gain. After years of endless ridicule and physical harassment, he decided to change his life and lost over 100 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. On his blog, Slim Palate, he documents his latest culinary creations with fun stories and gorgeous photography.  To keep abreast of his kitchen shenanigans, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Take it away, Josh!

Before I start rambling, I have to take a moment to thank Michelle for having me guest post. Of the many food bloggers that I adore, she has a special place in my heart because we share a similarity in cooking styles and tastes. At my house, we joke around and call Michelle one of my “second mothers” along with Stacy from Paleo Parents. Now look what I’ve done; I’ve begun rambling and I haven’t even gotten to the post.

The dish I’m writing about is Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata.

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I’m in love with braising because the technique’s practically foolproof and almost always yields perfectly voluptuous, tender and flavorful meals. When braising meat, you can opt for tougher cuts because the low and slow cooking melts the tough connective tissue. 

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If you haven’t read Molly Stevens’ book All About Braising, I highly recommend it, because it covers everything about braising. One of the best tips is to place parchment paper on top of the stew prior to putting the covered pot in the oven. Adding the parchment decreases the space between the lid and the stew and creates a tighter seal for the braise.

Speaking of Dutch ovens, I was finally able to test out my brand new Le Creuset 7-1/4 Quart Dutch Oven with this recipe. I wanted this dish to resemble a traditional Osso Bucco Milanese—hence the gremolata—but I included some thyme to the classic aromatic combination to add a nice woodiness to the overall flavor.

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I never thought to make Lamb Osso Bucco until my buddies from US Wellness Meats kindly sent me some to test out. I happen to be addicted to lamb. If I have lamb in the freezer, it doesn’t last long because I eat it right away. Once I learned about lamb osso bucco, I sort of lost my mind thinking of the possibilities and flavor additions that could be made with this wonderful dish.

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I love the fall off the bone, melty, and flavorful meat, but the best part is the bone marrow. You cannot miss out on the marrow—it’s packed full of flavor that I wouldn’t pass up for any sum of money in the world. Okay, maybe for a few million bucks. Don’t worry: I would spend the money  on plenty of pastured meat—and possibly a nice house just for me to run around in, and maybe my own private Crossfit gym where only Michelle, her husband and kids, and my other food blogging buddies are allowed.

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Be sure to enjoy the braised lamb on top of some mashed cauliflower, and with a nice portion of the gremolata sprinkled over the cross cut shanks. And of course, don’t forget that delicious marrow.

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Lamb Osso Bucco (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

Osso Bucco

  • 2½ - 3 lbs cross cut lamb shanks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped peeled tomatoes (can use fresh or canned)
  • ½ bulb fennel chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock 
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Gremolata

  • Large handful chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Season lamb with salt and pepper and heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once the Dutch oven is hot, brown each the cut lamb shanks well on both sides. (You may have to do this in batches to prevent overcrowding the Dutch oven.) Place the browned lamb shanks on a platter and tent with foil.

Place the carrot, celery, onion, tomatoes, fennel, garlic, and thyme in the Dutch oven. Stir and sauté until they begin to soften, and then pour in the white wine and chicken stock. Reduce heat to low, and scrape any bits off the bottom of the Dutch oven. Once your liquid begins to simmer, nestle in the browned lamb shanks in an even layer (it’s okay if they’re touching) and the bay leaf.

(You can skip this next step but it makes the braise go much more smoothly if you do this part.) Take a sheet parchment and place it on the stew. Let it slightly droop down to almost touch the meat, and place the lid on top.

Place the Dutch oven in the preheated oven for 2 to 2½ hours or until the meat easily falls from the bone. 

Carefully remove the crosscut lamb shanks to a platter and tent them with foil. Defat the remaining braising liquid if you choose, and simmer it over medium heat until the sauce is reduced by ¼.

In a small bowl, assemble the gremolata by combining the chopped parsley, minced garlic clove, and lemon zest. Plate the lamb osso bucco with some sauce and vegetables and top with a light sprinkling of the gremolata.