Ossobuco con le verdure

(= Ossobuco with Vegetables)

Ingredients for 4 people:4 slices of cross-cut veal shank (2-3 cm thick)500 g lean beef250 g plain flour250 g fresh shelled peas4 carrot2 onion2 stalks of celery2 Bombolini tomatoes½ glass dry white wine1 sprig of sage2 tsp juniper berries4 bay leaves10 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil a small bunch of parsley coarse and fine salt pepper

We begin by making a basic broth, perfect for cooking meat-based risotto or tasty meat dishes such as stew. Clean an onion, a carrot and a stalk of celery; wash the two ripe cherry tomatoes and a few sprigs of parsley. Put them all in a large saucepan with the meat and 3 litres of cold water. Seeing that the broth is to be used for preparing ossobuco, add 2 bay leaves and a teaspoon of juniper berries. Season with a pinch of coarse salt and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then lower the heat, put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for at least 2 hours.

Take the ossobuco slices and make a few little cuts around the outer edge, so they don’t “curl up” during cooking. Coat the slices with flour and sauté them in a pan over a high heat with 10 tablespoons of olive oil, the sage, and the remaining bay leaves and juniper berries. Turn the slices over to brown evenly on both sides, then remove them and put them on a plate.

In the pan you cooked the ossobuco in, sauté the second onion (thinly sliced), a finely chopped stalk of celery and the carrots cut into discs. As soon as the onion has softened, put the ossobuco slices back in the pan, add the white wine and let it evaporate over a high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour in enough hot broth to cover the ossobuco slices and leave to cook over a low heat for at least an hour (add more broth if necessary, so that the meat finishes cooking without becoming too dry and the sauce remains creamy). At this point add the peas and a ladle of hot broth, put the lid on the pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the peas are cooked and the ossobuco is tender and juicy.

And finally, a suggestion: the most precious and delicious part is the bone marrow (in the centre of the bone), leave it until last and savour it with a piece of homemade bread and a glass of red wine… cheers!