Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Indigenous American Osso Bucco, Part One

I have so many recipes that I start on here, then never come back to finish. It's the perfectionist in me. They are usually pretty good, but rarely stellar. Plus, it takes time to come back and polish up the directions, fine tune the details, etc. Not really worth it for a dish that's merely good, right?

So, I'm trying a new thing here. The creative process at work. I'll put it down on virtual paper, and see what's worth perfecting on down the road.

Indigenous American Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco is the common term for braised shanks of red meat. Veal or beef, usually. Here, I've got beef, but I don't have all that it would normally take for the traditional osso bucco, so I'm winging it.

1 lb beef shanks (two small ones)
3 small carrots, whole
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced into rings
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock or broth
10 juniper berries
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 bay leaves

In my metal slow cooker, I browned the shanks of beef on one side. After turning, I added the cranberries and onions, and continued to brown the shanks. Wich about a minute left, I added the garlic, holding the water at the ready.

Just before the garlic browned (and got bitter), I added the water an swirled to stop the cooking process.

I added the rest of the ingredients, settled it all in so that all herbs and spices are mixed, and put the slow cooker on medium for the day.

Notes: You always need a theme, right? I have no red wine or beef stock handy, and I'm not in a vermouth mood. I was flipping through a Native American cookbook the other day, so I've been craving some of those flavors. I have no bison shanks, and I'm not really sure when chickens appeared around here, but I'll pretend it's turkey. Most of the other ingredients would have been readily available to early Americans (I think).

Juniper berries, sage, rosemary, and cranberries are the keys here. I have the whole day to think about how to finish this up. The house already smells good.

I'm hoping for the best...

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