While not particularly avant-garde, I don’t know anybody who’ll turn down Osso Bucco when the weather turns cold and rainy. This stuff will ward off even the worst fall blues, guaranteed.
For osso bucco
all-purpose flour for dredging the mushrooms
90 ml (6 tbs) olive oil
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) dry white wine
250 ml (1 cups) onion, finely chopped
175 ml (3/4 cup) carrots, finely chopped
175 ml (3/4 cup) celery, finely chopped
10 ml (2 tsp) garlic, minced
750 ml (3 cups) homemade vegetable broth (or best store-bought)
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh parsley, minced
30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon zest
15 ml (1 tbsp) garlic, minced
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) short grain rice preferably Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
750 ml (3 cups) homemade vegetable stock (or best store-bought, there may be some left over)
115 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
vegan cooking cream such as Belsoy
1 generous pinch of saffron threads
freshly ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
A giant king oyster mushroom
Cut the king oyster mushrooms into 3cm thick slices across the stem, leave the head whole. Marinade 15 minutes in 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil, 15 ml (1 tbsp) minced garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from marinade and dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a heavy skillet heat 15 ml (1 tbsp) oil over moderately high heat and brown the mushrooms in batches, adding oil as necessary and transferring the browned mushrooms to a platter.
Browned mushroom shanks
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F)
In a medium-sized braiser cook the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the remaining oil on moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the mushrooms and the wine and boil until the liquid is reduced to about 115 ml (1/2 cup). Add enough of the broth to almost cover. Spread the tomatoes over the shanks, add the bouquet garni, salt and pepper to taste. Braise the mixture, covered, in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.
Osso Bucco nearly ready
Strain the pan juices into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids, and skim the fat. Boil the juices for 15 minutes, or until they are reduced to about 3 cups.
While the osso bucco is cooking make the gremolata. In a bowl stir together the parsley, the zest, and the garlic. Reserve.
30 minutes before serving, make the risotto.
Bring stock to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep hot.
In a medium size heavy saucepan, cook onion in the oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the saffron and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add white wine and simmer until evaporated. Raise heat to medium high and add hot stock gradually in small amounts while stirring gently, almost constantly. After approximately 17 minutes, when rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, take off the heat, add soy cream and stir well to make the texture as creamy and smooth as possible.
Cover to rest 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately after. Risotto does not wait very well at all.
To plate, make a little nest of rissotto in the center of the plate. Add stew over top and sprinkle with the gremolata.
I’ve been experimenting with vegan marrow bones to really round this off… I’ll keep you posted.
A traditional pairing would be a Barolo or Barbaresco but I’d try a southern Rhône, full-bodied, fruity and peppery with a smooth finish. Keep your eyes open for great value for the $ from Cairanne, Rasteau, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.