Quick and easy meals are great, but sometimes you need to give your kitchen a little good old-fashioned lovin’. And, just like with good lovin’, sometimes you need to take your time. 😉
Well, if you love (and miss) cooking, we have a recipe that will reconnect you with your kitchen, and hopefully bring everyone to the table to enjoy some of that quality dinner time that seems to have fallen off our radars.
After our recent trip to Eataly Boston, we were inspired to make a nice slow-cooked Italian meal. So, we came up with a little twist on a classic Italian dish – Truffled Osso Buco with Marsala Sauce.
You’ll need to set aside a good four to five hours for prepping and cooking, making this a perfect Sunday activity. Of course, we like to pair ours with mimosas during the prep time. And if you start in on the wine once the bubbles are gone, we’re totally cool with that. 🙂
For two servings.
- 2 healthy-sized veal lamb shanks
- cup of flour
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup truffle butter
- 1/4 truffle oil
- 1 finely chopped medium onion
- 5 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/2 a carrot, finely chopped
- 2 cups Marsala wine
- small sprigs of rosemary, thyme, parsley
- small can of tomato paste
- enough beef broth to cover shanks in the pot
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 cup flour
- few teaspoons of ricotta cheese
- 1/2 a beaten egg
- several sprigs of sage leaves pulled off the stem
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
Marsala and Truffle Sauteed Mushrooms
- 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1/4 truffle butter
- sprig of thyme
- salt and pepper
Truffled Veal Osso Buco with Marsala Sauce
Sorry vegetarians, but we’re doing the meat portion of this dish via old country style. We can’t help that we love bone marrow spread onto warm buttered bread, blame our taste buds and Italian influence.
You can make Osso Buco many different ways. Besides the usual bone marrow, we also love truffles. So, we made the traditional tomato-based sauce and added a bit of earthy truffle flavor, which got along just perfectly with the sweet and salty taste of the Marsala. This dish will take four to five hours to make, including prep time and depending on the thickness of the shanks.
- In a medium-sized pot, melt 1/4 cup of truffle butter and add truffle oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, and pepper.
- Dredge shanks in the flour and then saute in the bubbling truffle goodness.
- Cook meat on all sides on medium heat until nice and golden. NOTE: We like to get a little crazy and “dredge” our shanks twice for an extra thick and crispy coating. Plus, we love to say the word dredge in this context. 😉
- Once the shanks are covered with a delicious truffle-soaked coating, set aside. (Don’t clean the pot!)
- Using the same pot, add a few dashes of Marsala to release all of the tasty browned bits that are stuck to the bottom.
- Add a little more truffle butter and oil and saute the herbs, onions, garlic, and carrots until soft.
- Plop in the tomato paste and add water. Stir until the paste is blended.
- Add the shanks to the pot and cover with about 1 and 1/2 cups of Marsala.
- Cover with beef broth and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid, occasionally checking the consistency and just to get a whiff of all that heavenly flavor. 😉
- Cook for three to four hours, adding remaining Marsala about halfway through the cooking time. NOTE: Feel free to take a swig, we won’t tell.
- We all like a nice and deep hot bath, so make sure the shanks stay submerged. Add more broth if needed.
- Once the meat has reached that fall-off-the-bone status, gently lift and place in a separate bowl.
- Raise heat and reduce sauce until it reaches a lovely, dense consistency that will be sure to stick to your ribs.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
I fell in love with gnocchi during childhood; perfect light and fluffy little pillows of yumminess. Now add in the flavor of a sweet potato with brown sugar and sage- Yowza! I might have looked a little bit like this the first time I tried them:
Don’t worry, the similarity was just the wagging tongues, not the flood pants and shin socks. 😉 But, now that our tongues are back in our mouth, we’re ready to share a recipe that will always knock it out of the park for your guests.
- Bake the sweet potato. NOTE: While you really can’t shave any time off the Osso Buco, you can cheat a little bit with the gnocchi. If you have a microwave, most likely, there is a potato setting. Pop the potato into the microwave, press the magic little button, and out comes a perfectly cooked tuber. Just give that hot potato a squeeze using some type of oven mitt to make sure it is soft.
- Cut the potato in half and scoop out the potato “meat” into a bowl.
- Add egg, flour, and ricotta, knead until light and fluffy. Add more flour if needed.
- Resist the urge to have a flour fight, and lightly toss a bit of flour on your counter.
- Roll the dough into long strips on the floured surface.
- Cut strips into nubs that are about an inch in length.
- If you want fancy pants gnocchi with a pretty little design, press down onto each little pillow with a fork. Lightly dust with flour.
- Boil water in a large pot with a few dashes of salt.
- Once a rolling boil has started, use a slotted spoon to gently place the gnocchi in the water.
- When the fluffy little bites float to the top, spoon them out and place in a bowl.
- Add a dash of oil so they won’t stick to each other.
TIP: One of my favorite things to do with potato skins is to eat them! Once you’ve removed the filling, try adding a little butter, salt, and pepper to the inside of the “potato cup.” Then squish like a sandwich and go to town! Afraid of butter? Just think of all of the vitamins you’ll consume in the skin. The justification works for me. 😉 Also, get creative with your potato skin sandwich. Try stuffing it with cheese or prosciutto or both!
Brown Butter Sage Sauce
This sauce is easy peasy to make but still packs a unique and complex flavor.
- In a frying pan, melt butter and add sage.
- Once the sage is nice and crispy, add brown sugar.
- Lower the heat and add gnocchi.
- Gently flip gnocchi so they get a lovely coating of the butter sauce. (Mmmm, a coating of butter… sounds like our last date. We kid, it was actually the date before last.)
Marsala and Truffle Sauteed Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a perfect side dish for a heavy meal. They also co-mingle supremely with the truffle and Marsala flavors we’ve added to the Osso Buco. Plus, with the time that goes into the gnocchi and veal shanks, mushrooms are fairly easy to make so you can then focus on getting the rest of the timing perfect.
- Heat a frying pan (preferably non-stick) so that it is piping hot.
- Once you know there’s a sizzle in that pan, empty the mushrooms and “squeak” those fungi by continually stirring. You will eventually start to hear the mushrooms yelping in the pan. Don’t worry, you’re not hurting them; they’re just mushrooms. NOTE: Squeaking mushrooms helps to evaporate moisture so that the texture won’t be too soggy or create a watery sauce. It also gives them that nice toasted color and really bring out the flavor.
- You will see water released into the pan. Keep stirring. You may let them sit for a minute and then stir to make sure all mushrooms are getting their fair share of heat.
- There’s a fine line between cooking a lovely toasted mushrooms and burning them. So, stay by the pan and keep stirring. Eventually, the volume of the mushrooms will reduce. At this point, (5 to 10 minutes) your own taste will determine when to add the next ingredients. Personally, we like our mushrooms thinner and with just a touch of crispiness. If you prefer a slight plumpness, that is cool too – to each their own! Try tasting one to make sure the texture is to your liking. Just understand that those little suckers will sweat a bit more, so you may need to reduce the sauce later.
- Toss in a few dashes of Marsala, just to lift up any pieces that may be clinging to the pan.
- Add the truffle butter. Confession: We may be part piggie and couldn’t help adding more butter than necessary.
- Pull thyme leaves off sprigs and add to the pan with salt and pepper.
- Sautee until the sauce buddies up with the shrooms like they’re old friends. TIP: Before serving, you may add a few dashes of Marsala or mushroom broth to ensure all of the flavor is lifted from the pan.
Pulling it all together
Ah, the last part is the sweet reward of stuffing your face! Hopefully, you’re sharing this wondering dish with someone you love (or want to impress)!
- Place a succulent shank on a dining dish. Lovingly spoon our rich and gorgeous sauce over it. TIP: Don’t forget some warm bread to use as a vehicle to consume that buttery bone marrow.
- Scoop up a healthy portion of mushrooms and gnocchi onto the plate as well.
- Pour your favorite full-bodied Italian wine. We know it’s not Italian, but we enjoyed Duckhorn Cab with ours. 🙂
- Throw on some Dean Martin and/or Sinatra and go to town!
Happy cooking (and eating)!
The Haute Life