I love my Chasseur french oven. At a fraction of the price of a Le Creuset, this stylish enameled cast iron cookware comes in a variety of colours, looks great and has so far produced excellent results. I've only used it twice since I bought it a few weeks ago. The first time, I made Massaman curry lamb shanks with potatoes and they tasted fantastic served with steamed jasmine rice. This second time around, I opted to cook this delicious veal osso bucco slow-cooked in dark ale, and I tell ya, it was SO GOOD. Seriously (I'm salivating at the thought of it). I can't wait to make this again when my parents come and visit in a few months' time. The osso bucco was so melt-in-your-mouth tender, the onions were just lovely and the sauce served with the soft cheesy polenta was absolutely yummy.
The original recipe called for black ale, which Mr G could not find at the bottle shop. So I used White Rabbit dark ale instead, which seemed to have worked really well too. There is quite a substantial quantity of sauce in this stew, bordering on the soupy side. I was expecting a thicker gravy-like consistency, although it was still very tasty especially when mixed with the polenta. Next time, I will try using a black ale instead and perhaps reduce the amount of water used in the recipe. I might also consider adding more onions to produce a chunkier gravy. That's just about the only thing I love about winter, and that is being able to indulge in rich and hearty stews alongside some soft polenta or buttery mashed potatoes.
Dark Ale Veal Osso Bucco
(adapted from Seasons by Donna Hay)
6 x 200g (7 oz each) pieces veal osso bucco
Plain flour for dusting
2 tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, thickly sliced into half inch thickness
2 cups black/dark ale
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup water
3 bay leaves
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Dust the veal with flour and shake off excess.
- Heat the oil in a deep heavy based casserole or french/dutch oven. Fry the veal on high heat in batches about 3-4 minutes each side until browned. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce heat to low and fry the onions until caramelized.
- Increase heat to high again, and gradually add the ale, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half. Add stock, water, bay leaves, thyme, tomato paste, sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and cook in oven for 1 1/2 hours or until veal is tender and falling off the bone.
- Place the casserole on the stove and bring to a boil on high heat, uncovered for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with soft polenta or mashed potatoes. Garnish with chopped parsley.