Tag Archives: Celery

Ossobuco, Osso Buco, Osso Bucco…tasty however you spell it! – A Recipe

I would like to think of myself as part cook, part food historian and part glutton. Of course I would like to think of myself as the saviour of the modern world, it does not mean I am.

Top of my gastro-historical knowledge search has always been Ossobuco. There are many ways to spell it, as you may have guessed this means that there are many ways to cook it. Traditionally made alla Bianco but now made a little richer with tomatoes. The Bianco version is tomato-less and subtly flavoured with allspice, cinnamon and bay – lovingly finished off with Gremolata, finely chopped parsley, garlic and lemon peel. Both version contain the main attraction(cue music): A large chunk of bone in the middle hiding a delicate quivering nugget of marrow.

Although I do love the Bianco version the altogether young pretender of Veal shins is my choice for company.I normally make Ossobuco for a special occasion. Knocking up some rich veal stock in advance, getting some beautiful tomatoes and making a silky passata. However one can still make a delicious version with a little care and shop bought ingredients.

Some friends were coming around for dinner and I could not for the life of me think what to make. When I had popped out at lunchtime for something to eat and found myself in the shops, I saw some very pretty Veal shins and my mind was made up instantly. I could already taste that buttery soft meat and that rich thick sauce. With an afternoon of proper paid work ahead it was a quick-lunch and an even quicker prep time in the kitchen. The beauty of Ossobuco is that you can leave it simmering away (hob or oven, take your pick) and get on with other things.

Traditionally it is served with Risotto Milanese (saffron risotto) a beautiful orange colour dish with that indescribable taste of the crocus stamen – slightly earthy, sweet and medicinal all at the same time. I have served it with mash and just alone with some greens, but this time I plumped for stir-fried cavolo nero and spelt risotto with peas.


6 big veal shins (sliced about an inch and a half thick)

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

1 onion

A handful of dried porcini

50g of butter

250ml dry white wine

350ml good veal stock (chicken will work as well)

150ml Passata

Handful of sage leaves, about 20 or so for the particular people.

a little flour (seasoned)

Pepper…pepper and more pepper


If you have a big casserole dish with a lid now is the time to get it out of the cupboard.

Take the Veal Shins and cover them lightly in the seasoned flour. I always find that the best way to do this is to pop the flour in a big plastic bag (obviously without the safety breathing holes!) and then pop each shin in one by one and shake around until they are covered.

In a bowl add some hot water to cover the porcini, and leave to one side.

In the casserole pop half the butter (and a slug of olive oil to stop it burning) and when hot, in a single layer, seal the shins. Repeat till you are done, adding more butter if necessary.

Finely chop the Carrot, Onion, Celery and soften in the casserole for about 10 mins, don’t brown them. Whack up the heat and pop in the wine, let it bubble down to about a third of its original volume.

Drain and reserve the liquid from the porcini. Roughly chop the porcini and half the sage leaves and add to the casserole with the passata, porcini juice and the stock. Drop in the shins so that they are all covered. Season, VERY well.

Now you can split the cooking into another casserole if yours are too small, as long as everything is equally split and covered in liquid, all is good.

Now you can leave this on a hob on a very low flame for about 4hours – or leave it in an oven at about 160C for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so and if necessary top up with a little water.

The sauce will thicken and darken, the meal will contract and soften so much you could mistake it for butter.

Take the remaining sage leaves and the remaining butter and fry till the leaves ae crispy, add a little salt and pepper and drizzle over the shins when you serve.

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Filed under Dinner Party, Food Experiments, GC Recipes, Rants

Chilli Beef Salad – A Recipe/ Fridge Challenge

So this was not really a Fridge Challenge. I had most of the ingredients already and when I was in the shops t’other day they had some sirloin on special so I popped it in my basket without a real thought of what I was going to do with it. I have made this recipe a thousand times and Saturday lunch is a good time to have it.

You can tailor your crunch in this salad to your favourites. It works well as a winter salad as you have a great meaty kick with a spicy/tangy dressing. I love using sirloin for this when you want to make a 15 minute lunch/dinner, but you can marinate the meat overnight if you make a bit of extra dressing and use some rump or even slow cook some onglet or use a bavette steak instead. If you are hard pressed to get any of these cuts pop over and see Jack. The options really are endless, I have swapped out the beef for , Tuna and Duck before and just adjusted mix of the dressing a little and the colours in the salad.

I always cook by eye as well as by taste and touch. Things have to be pretty. Especially with salads, making them more interesting and tastier always ends up being a by product of me trying to make them look less green and boring!


1 untrimmed Sirloin Steak 300g

6-7 Radishes

6-7 Sugar Snap Peas

4-5 Spring Onions

1 Small Carrot

1 Stick Celery

Half a Yellow Pepper

1 Big Red Chilli

Some Mint Leaves

An Handful of Pomgranate Seeds

An Handful of Coriander Leaves

An Handful of Leaves (I love Mizuna, Baby Spinach and Oak Leaf in Winter)

An Inch of Peeled Ginger

Juice of 1 and a half Limes

1tsp toasted Sesame Seeds

Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce


Season the steak with some sesame oil and soy sauce – about a teaspoon of each should do. Leave to one side.

Take the chilli and with some tongs turn it in the flames of your hob until the skin is black and charred all over – pop it in a bowl and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave it for about 10 minutes and it will steam itself a little and the skin will fall off easily under a running tap.

Peel the carrot and the string off the celery stick and continue to use the peeler to shave them into strips. Pop in a large bowl.

Thinly slice the radish, yellow pepper, sugar snaps, all but one of the spring onions, 3/4 of the coriander, half the chilli (without seeds) and mint. Add to bowl. Add the salad leaves and Pomegranate.

Take the ginger, remaining coriander, the last spring onion, other half of the chilli (with or without seeds depending on your tolerance) and a little of the lime juice and pound in a pestle and mortar or in a mini blender type thingy, until smooth.

In a bowl add the paste to the rest of the lime juice, 3tbs soy sauce, 3tbs sesame oil  and bring it all together with a whisk.

Pop the steak on until medium rare – obviously if you like it more or less cooked then that is your choice. (If you don’t know the timings of how to cook your steak have a look at Delia, if you are having a look at Delia I will know from my tracking page…) Trim the fat and slice thinly.

Dress the Salad and arrange on a plate, pop your steak on top and a tsp of the dressing. Sprinkle over a few sesame seeds.


Filed under Fridge Challenge, GC Recipes

A right good Stuffing – A Recipe

It is easy to make a stuffing from a packet and too many people seem to think that is the only way. Delia used to get all new age on our asses and pop in some dried fruit and nuts. I think the best way is always the simplest : Meat and Seasoning.

Game and Poultry Stuffing

500g Good Sausagemeat (from your butcher, about 85-95% meat content)

1 big Onion

4 sticks of Celery

4tbs Worcester Sauce

1 tbs Dijon Mustard

Salt and Pepper


Pop the onion and celery (should be equal amounts, if the onion is not as big as the 4 sticks add more and vice versa) in a blender and blitz.

Pop in a big pan and fry off until caramelised. There will be a lot of moisture beacase of the blitzing, so whack it up high and dry it out a bit.

Add the sausagemeat and mix well, all the time scraping the bottom of the pan. When all the meat seems to be cooked through and the fat has rendered and risen to the surface add a pinch or two of salt, lots of ground pepper, worcester sauce and mustard.

Transfer all all the meat to a loaf tin, square roasting dish or even shape into balls or cubes whatever is your favourite. You could always put it inside the bird!

Cook at about 190c for 25-35 mins until the surface is browned and crispy.

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