Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Perfect Meal for the Perfect Storm

Did everyone make it thru Sandy vs The Snow?  At this writing there is snow pouring down. Of course the dogs love it but no one else is happy. We have cold and windy conditions but we are all fine. Spent most of the day prepping yesterday so if nothing else I have a clean house, tons of snacks, and most of the laundry done!
Talk about a farm-made meal! Almost everything from the yard.

One of my better ideas when I parted up that first pig was to label the freezer bags of meat with meal ideas - instead of just what meat was in the bag. I had a couple bags of "osso bucco" - and with the on coming storm - this was the perfect meal.

The best version I've had of osso bucco was in the kitchen of a friend who used Mario Batali's recipe here.   I also consulted Marcella for her method as well. I learned there is a version without tomatoes, if that is your preference.  But as with all my cooking I mostly "loosely" followed the recipes.

These pieces were cut to size when I was parting up the pig. 

For instance,  I used pork shanks - which turned out beautifully.  This is a great way to use a kind of weird hunk of pork. I intentionally cut the shanks in the right size pieces just for this meal.

Brown on all sides.

The preparation couldn't be simpler - just brown the pieces. I used my favorite Le Cruset braiser...which I got for a steal at TJ Maxx, of all places.  They have some great deals.

Remove the meat and then add the veggies. I'd like to point out that I used the one and only carrot I've ever successfully grown in this dish. I was so proud.

After the veggies get a little color on them, add the meat back to the pan then add your spices, stock and wine. Be sure to deglaze the pan. I used red wine in this dish instead of white.

Chicken broth and red wine deglazes the pan. Bay leaves make for great seasoning.

Then just cover it tightly and cook it in the oven for about 2.5 hours - until the meat just falls off the bone. The great thing about this meal is that it basically makes itself - and its a great way to warm up the kitchen. Perfect for extra chilly days or if you have bread dough that needs to rise - the top of a warm oven is a great place to do it.

See how the bones become exposed? Test with a fork to see how the meat comes off the bone.

I served our "porko bucco" with lots of broth and with baked butternut squash (from our garden). Another great "mostly from our yard" meal!

And this is a great "two-fer" meal. I used the broth and the little bit of leftover meat as the basis of a bolognese sauce the next day. I browned some ground pork to "beef" it up and since the broth had the benefit of the previous day's low and slow cooking.... the meat sauce was done in a snap. Together with the rest of the baked butternut squash...my osso bucco meal then became a stunning pork and pumpkin lasagna!

Looks like its still snowing so I think I'm going to go and find some of that bread I made...and have some of the lasagna. Its a breakfast food, right?

Happy Tuesday everyone! Did you all make it thru the storm?

ps I'm not the only one finding the great value of this cut of meat.. check out how Freemotion uses beef shanks!


DreamingOfChickens said...

Glad ya'll are OK. I was worried about how much of this storm you would get.

Unknown said...

Glad you're ok. Unseasonably warm here, 70-ish! Only for another 2 days, but it's like summer. Winter was last week, go figure...

David said...

Love the shanks! Lamb shanks are my favorite. I've not seen pork shanks but I suspect unless you're dressing your own animal, they may be tough to find. Funny, The first thing I thought when I started reading the post -oooh lookit that pan!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks DOC, and yep we are all good.

Hi Nancy.. we are cold cold cold... hard to believe last week it was too hot!

Oh golly if we had lambs we'd have lamb shanks for sure. You could probably get a butcher to order some pork ones. But really this is a cheap cut of meat but what a terrific use. And yeah.. I almost always look at the pans first! If you have Mervyns or TJ Maxx check them out - they get seconds and last year's colors of le crueset - such amazing deals you cant believe it.

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