November 18, 2015

Lamb Osso Bucco

Angelina's Bachelors is a heartwarming novel about a widow who starts cooking for gentleman bachelors as a way to make ends meet. It's an old-fashioned setting (sometime in a quaint, unspecified era) where every minor and major event revolves around food. The author, Brian O'Reilly produced Dinner Impossible and the amazing recipes featured in the book were by his wife, Virginia. Each dish is a showstopper, requiring some patience and appreciation for the art of cooking.

When the story came to the osso bucco scene – I instantly knew I would have to make it. I didn't even continue reading the book until this meal. Meat so tender it was falling off the bone, that creamy lemon caper sauce --- oh my goodness. This is a recipe to keep in your arsenal and whip out to impress.

Lamb Osso Bucco with Egg Noodles and Capers


Two lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg, approximately
3 tbsp canola or olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 shallot cloves, minced
1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed and minced
1 cup dry vermouth 
1 quart chicken stock
12 peppercorns
4 large sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 fresh sage leaves
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
2 tbsp butter
4 egg yolks
1 pound egg noodles or fettucine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 fresh lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp capers
1 tbsp minced fresh dill leaves
2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Rinse the lamb to remove residue and pat the meat dry with paper towels.  Season each piece on both sides with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan and sear the lamb, leaving undisturbed fir about 2-4 minutes to allow the seasonings to integrate into the surface of the meat and to prevent tearing of the flesh.  Add a second tablespoon of oil to the pan, flip the veal and sear the other side in the same way, then remove to a utility platter.

3. To the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and over medium heat, cook the shallot cloves and garlic until the shallots turn translucent, stirring frequently to prevent burning, about 1-2 minutes.  

4. Deglaze the pan with vermouth and allow most of the liquid to evaporate, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the chicken stock and return the lamb to the pan.  Reduce the heat to low and add the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, and sage leaves.  Cover the pan and let cook over low heat until fork tender, about 2 hours.

6. Saute the carrots over medium low hear in the butter until tender, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, cover, and set aside until needed.

7. When the veal is tender, begin boiling the water for the egg noodles.

8. Carefully remove the veal to a platter, keeping the osso bucco pieces intact, and cover to keep warm.  Strain the cooking liquids to a small bowl, wipe out the pan, and return the liquid to the pan to make the sauce.  Increase the heat to medium high and allow the liquids to reduce to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.

9. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until no streaks remain and they turn light in color.

10. Meanwhile, begin boiling the egg noodles until al dente.

11. When the pan juices have reduced, reduce the heat to medium low and whisk in the heavy cream to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and, 1 tablespoon at a time, add the liquid to the bowl of egg yolks, whisking between additions. (This is called a liaison- which equalizes the temperatures so the eggs don't coagulate.)  When half of the cream mixture from the pan has been added to the egg yolks, pour the entire contents of the small bowl into the pan and whisk thoroughly to combine well.  

12. Add the lemon juice and capers, set the heat to medium low, and stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken slightly and it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured with a candy thermometer, 5 t o7 minutes.  

13. Drain the egg noodles and toss with the butter/carrot mixture and fresh dill.

14. Serve veal on top of noodles with sauce spooned on top and sprinkle some parsley and lemon zest.

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