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How Solo Can You Go? Mediterranean Osso Bucco

I’ve finished giving my last workshop before taking holidays. Last night I was in a hungry mood to treat myself. A nice dinner seemed like a good plan to celebrate before the holiday cooking frenzy. Many of you who are solo have asked me for fast convenient dinners for one. This Osso Bucco recipe is sooo scrumptious and simple to prepare for one or more.

My latest toy is a pressure cooker. I did some research and found the best bang for my buck for a good one. You need to do research on these as there are pros and cons. I found the need for one to save cooking time on the tougher cuts of meats. This tool is remarkable and easy to clean. Your grandma knows they have been using them for decades. Unlike the older models, the new technology has safeguards. No more explosions. You can make this recipe fast if you own a good pressure cooker (mine’s a Fagor Futuro…tell them The Spice Lady, Sharon Elston sent you) and freeze the leftovers for another meal. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, the prep is quick and easy when you have time to wait for the cooking process. How about next Sunday?

I found a couple of veal shanks at my neighbourhood grocer for less than $5.00. My inspiration for Osso Bucco. I knew I had some very nice Mediterranean ingredients in my pantry.I also had some buttercup squash, otherwise known as turban, waiting to be used for weeks. This variety has a sweeter flavour and can be baked, boiled, simmered, stewed. Well cooked anyway you’d like. This variety lends sweet to the savoury notes of this recipe.

This is a one bowl dish. Make sure you have some good quality bread to soak up the marrow and fragrant juices. It was so delicious, I felt guilty eating it solo. How solo can you go?

Mediterranean Flavours of Osso Bucco to Perfection in Less Than 30 Minutes! Serves 2 to 4

Buttercup Squash

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion 1 big sprig of fresh rosemary (1 ½ teaspoons dried) 1 big spring of fresh thyme (1 ½ teaspoons) 1 to 2 lbs veal shanks (about two big or four smaller) 1 14 ounce can of San Marzano Whole Tomatoes, squished to extract juices 1/3 cup red wine 1 large carrot, large dice ½ cup of squash, large dice 4 to 8 small red potatoes, halved (or the equivalent of any other potato) ¼ cup kalamata olives, optional Juice and zest of half a lemon 2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey, or other organic or natural sweetener Course kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. In a large saucepan or pressure cooker, fry onions until translucent

  2. Add the sprigs of rosemary and thyme

  3. Liberally season the veal shanks with course kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  4. Move onions to the side and brown the shanks on both sides

  5. Add the tomatoes and wine to deglaze

  6. Add the carrot, squash, olives, and maple syrup.

  7. Bring to a boil, and then down to simmer. Cover and cook on for 3 hours or under tender.

  8. If using a pressure cooker, use pressure number 2. Bring up to pressure and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

  9. Season with more salt or pepper or lemon, or maple syrup if required.

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