The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Enjoying the Winter with Ossobuco and Winter Wines!

Posted on | December 18, 2014 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

The weather this winter has been relatively warm, allowing for ideal shipping conditions to most of the country this hectic December. Early this week was in the low 50s, practically like a cellar! I’m welcoming the 20s and 30s, when IWM’s wine shipments slow down. My favorite part of the winter season is staying indoors and cooking hearty, amazing meals. A classic Milanese veal Ossobuco is a surefire way to warm up the mind, body, and soul this winter. My wife and I had this dish in Milan this past October, and it was better than anything I was possibly expecting. Here is one of my favorite recipes:

Heat up a Dutch oven on high heat.

Dust eight seasoned veal shanks (center cut), 2 to 2 1/2 inches think, and sear in a little olive oil; set aside.

Lower heat to medium.

Add 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped ribs of celery, 2 chopped carrots, and 5 minced cloves of garlic to the Dutch oven, and sauté for 5 minutes in a few tablespoons of butter and olive oil.

Deglaze with half a bottle of a neutral tasting white wine (feel free to pour yourself a glass or 2).

Add 12 ounces of veal stock and a 14 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes.

Add the veal shanks back to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer.

Add rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay leaves as well as salt and pepper.

Cover the Dutch and put into a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Set aside the shanks.

Reduce sauce by half; taste and re-season, if needed.

Serve over saffron risotto, drizzling the sauce.

Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Stick a 3 inch piece of rosemary in the shank bone for presentation and aroma.

Here are 3 simple tricks to add a tremendous depth to the flavor of the risotto:

  1. Instead of using chicken stock, use veal stock for more depth.
  2. Use bone marrow instead of butter.
  3. Increase the saffron threads by 50%.

Serves 4 to 6, with plenty of leftovers. If you are so inclined, broken down Ossobuco leftovers make an amazing filling for homemade raviolis.

Barolo is a spectacular choice for this classic Northern Italian dish. I highly recommend the 2007 Renzo Seghesio Barolo. I’ve enjoyed the 1996, 1998, 2004, and 2007 from Renzo Seghesio, and all of them were delicious. The freshness and zippiness of the 2007 will certainly complement this dish at first, but the complexity of the dish, and the wine’s development will finely sync as the meal progresses. There are also a few delicious Baroli from the stellar 2010 vintage available like the Massolino, but whichever you decide to pair with the Ossobuco you and your family will be happy.

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