Have you ever tried to make something once (twice, three times, with three different recipes from three different cookbooks) and it never quite came out the way it was supposed to. And your husband, who's a better cook than you are (or at least better at actually following the recipe) tries the same from yet another cookbook and then another (at least we're persistent) and it never works, never quite tastes the same tender, delicious way it does in practically any Italian restaurant on any corner in any city in the world.
But, a couple of months ago, I was at the butcher in the farmers market and they had these perfectly lovely cuts of veal shank, really cute, and so (what was I thinking?) I bought them for the freezer. And last week, when there was nothing in the house, I defrosted them.
When Alan came home from work and asked what was for dinner, I announced, "Ossobuco."
"Really," he said with a smirk, "What are you thinking, you know that never works."
"I know," I said. "They were so cute, I couldn't help it."
I trolled for a recipe. Struck out the first two times -- we'd already tried them but I'd just been sent a copy of "The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook" (by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers) and in it was a recipe that wasn't quite conventional, basically poaching the ossobuco on tomatoes. And I thought, Rosie's never wrong, I think I'll try it....
And it was absolutely perfect!
Now, if I could only convince Alan that we aren't on a diet the next time I make it, and talk him into his polenta as an accompaniment, we would have a perfect meal that you actually can make at home.
Veal Shin with Tomatoes
Ossobuco Alla Milanese
This dish is served with risotto alla Milanese, one of the only times it is acceptable to have risotto accompanying a main course.
Adapted with permission from "The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook" by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
6 pieces of veal shin, about 1 inch thick
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons olive oil