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Osso Bucco with Dried Orange, Thyme and White Beans January 28, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 4:26 pm

This is a recipe from Big City Cooking. I never realized how expensive veal shanks were until I bought them. I couldn’t find candied orange peel so I made it (shockingly simple) and I have to say the orange peel made this dish. I was a bit worried about the sweetness of it but it turned out to be amazing.



  • 2 cups dried white cannellini beans
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, canned low-sodium broth, or water (I used beef stock since I had lots around)
  • ½ medium carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • ½ rib celery
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp diced candied orange peel (I couldn’t find any in the store, so I made my own)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Osso Bucco

  • 3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 veal shanks, about 2 inches thick, 1 to 1 ¼ lb each
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, 1 coarsely chopped and 1 cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, 1 coarsely chopped and 1 cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 8 cups veal stock, or substitute chicken stock (I made a mix of 4 cups beef stock and 4 cups chicken stock as it is supposed to be close to veal stock)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp diced candied orange peel


To Make the Beans

Place the bean in a bowl, cover with water by about 3 inches, and set aside to soak overnight or up to 24 hours. Refrigerate if the kitchen is very warm.

Drain and rise the soaked beans and put them in a medium saucepan over medium heat with 6 cups of the chicken stock, the carrot, and the celery. Cover and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until tender, about 1 hour, adding more chicken stock or water if needed to keep the beans fully covered. Add salt just before the beans are fully cooked (the skins will crack if it is added too early).

Drain the beans are return them to the same pot, discarding the carrot and celery. Add the thyme and orange peel and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

If you prefer not to soak the beans overnight, cook as described above, but you will need at least 8 cups of liquid and the beans will take at least 2 hours to cook. The beans can be fully cooked up to 2 days ahead, refrigerated in their cooking liquid, and brought back to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.

To Make the Osso Bucco

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Add the onion, coarsely chopped carrot, and coarsely chopped celery and brown the shanks for 3 to 5 minutes per side

Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the wine is reduced to about ½ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the veal stock and 2 sprigs of the thyme and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the meat is very tender and the braising liquid has reduced by half, about 1hour and 40 minutes. If the liquid is reducing too much during cooking, add water.

Remove the veal shanks and set aside, loosely covered with foil,. Strain the braising liquid and reserve; discard the solids.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced carrot and diced celery and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the braising liquid. If the sauce is too thick, add chicken stock or water to thin it. Simmer for about 1 minute to heat through, or longer if the vegetables are not fully cooked, and season with last and pepper.

To Serve

Divide the beans among 4 warmed plates. Top with the veal shanks, spoon the sauce over them, and garnish with the diced orange peel and remaining thyme sprigs.


Lamb Stew with Pomegranate and Saffron Fregula January 26, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 3:49 pm

This recipe also came from Big City Cooking. I had been wanting to try it for a while but could never find all the ingredients. Now that I live in a big city, I was able to find them all except the Fregula (which I will admit I didn’t look very hard) so I used Israeli couscous as it suggested. The seeds at the end give the meal a great texture so I highly recommend using them.


Lamb Stew

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, cute into about ¾ inch dice
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice or 1 cup red wine (I used red wine)
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped orange zest
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Saffron Fregula

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup fregula or substitute Israeli couscous (I used Israeli couscous)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds


To Make the Stew:

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Season the lamb pieces with salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the oil, working in batches if necessary, so they are not crowded, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp or more of oil to the pot, if necessary, and sauté the carrot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shallots, cumin, cayenne, and ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices. Add the pomegranate juice (or win) and saffron. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. If using pomegranate juice, cook until reduced to about ½ cup, 15 to 20 minutes and if using red wine, cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the lamb and any juices to the pot, add the chicken stock and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for about 1.2 hour, removing the cover to skim the liquid occasionally and make sure that the stew remains at a gentle simmer. Uncover and cook for another hour, or until the lamb is tender and the liquid has thickened. Add the pomegranate molasses and season with salt and pepper.

To Make the Fregula:

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the chicken stock and the saffron. If using low-sodium broth, add 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and add the fregula. Decrease the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with Salt

Divide the fregula among 4 bowls and top with stew. Garnish with min and pomegranate seeds, if desired.


Depending upon the richness of the stock, you may want to use more or less pomegranate molasses, so add 1 tbsp at a time and taste after each addition.


BLT Pizza January 25, 2011

Filed under: Big City Cooking — kariryerson @ 2:08 am

This came from a cookbook I picked up off a clearance rack because the cover was interetesting. Its call Big City Cooking. This was super simple to make (especially if you buy the dough) and tasted delicious. I wish it had made more.


  • 3 slices bacon, preferable Niman Ranch
  • ¼ Recipe pizza dough (I bought premade at the store)
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing dough
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato thinly sliced (use an heirloom tomato, if available) (I used a regular)
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup shredded fresh buffalo mozzarella, or substitute regular mozzarella (I used fresh and it was way too moist)
  • ½ bunch arugula
  • 1/8 tsp dried red hot pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 550 or as high as your over will allow. Set out a pizza stone, or oil a baking sheet

Heat a medium skillet over medium0high heat and cook the bacon slices until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round shape with a diameter of about 10 inches. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the pizza stone or oiled baking sheet, cover approximately the area the pizza dough will cover. Place the dough over the cornmeal and brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.

Arrange the tomato slices over the dough and season lightly with salt. Spread the cheese over the tomatoes. Break the bacon slices into small pieces and sprinkle over the cheese. In a small bowl, toss the arugula with 1tsp of olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Arrange the arugula over the pizza and bake until the crust is nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with pepper flakes, season with pepper, and serve immediately.