This weekend is Thanksgiving. We tend to forget but Thanksgiving is really a day to say thanks for the good harvest of the preceding year. Now seriously, with many of us living in cities an not cultivating much more than balcony herbs, there’s not much thanks to say if we stick to the true meaning of the holiday. So modern society has turned this National holiday into a family event, one where we make sure to spend time together (thanks to a day off!), enjoy the new fall colors and the chilly days. We try to say thanks to every one around and we should sit down and reminisce about the good things we’ve had so far during the present year.
And what comes with a family gathering? FOOD! Yes, loads of tasty, comfort food. Traditionally a Canadian Thanksgiving menu should go as follow: stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, some sort of squash dish, green beans, cranberry sauce and of course, a pumpkin pie. In our house, we’re really not stuck on traditions so every year we try to reinvent ourselves. What we focus on is a nice, comforting dish that can, if we choose it to be, be a little more costly than usual, just because it’s such a special day.
This year, I’m actually staying at my parents house for the holiday. Yes, I’m crashing at their house! Usually my mom prepares us a killer dinner for this occasion (she’s a killer cook!). But this year, because I feel like I owe my parents a lot (come on, if your parents accepted you, your other half and 3 little toddlers for a few weeks in their home, wouldn’t you feel like you owed them too?), I decided to step up and cook Thanksgiving dinner. To do so, I always need a few hours away from the kids (my husband is amazing at making that happen). So today I hit the stove a prepared a really nice smelling Osso Bucco, a traditional Italian veal stew. I made it a day in advance so that tomorrow I could focus on my side dishes : lemon risotto and braised Brussels sprouts. This, my friends, should be amazing!!! If you still don’t know what to prepare for tomorrow, I highly recommend this one. There’s still time today to prepare it (calculate about 45 minutes to prepare everything plus 2 hours for the oven) either today or tomorrow. It’s really easy so if you level of cooking skills isn’t that great, you should be able to make something quite impressive with this easy recipe. If you’re only 4 people for Thanksgiving dinner, you can easily cut the recipe in half. By the way, this final picture isn't mine. I'm serving this dish tomorrow but I want anyone who wants to make this dish to be able to do so. I'll add my own once it's completed!
Veal Osso Buco Makes 8 servings – Prep : 45 minutes – Cooking : 2 hours - Level: CHEF
8 veal shanks (about 9oz each, 2-inch thick)
3 onions, thinly chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly chopped
4 carrots, grated
5 garlic cloves
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups chicken or veal stock
40 oz (1 can ½) of whole Italian tomatoes (you could also get cherry tomatoes)
2x 5.5oz can of tomato paste
4 tbsp fresh basil, minced
3 tbsp fresh sage, minced
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven at 350˚F.
Dredge the veal slices in flour. In a large saucepan that goes in the oven, brown the meat on both sides in the olive oil (about 2 minutes each side). Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and cook a few minutes over medium-low heat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the celery, carrots and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine, turning the heat up to medium-high (about 5 minutes). Add the tomatoes, stock, basil, sage and tomato paste. Blend well. Add the meat, making sure that it’s fully covered with the liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
Serve with Gremolata
1 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 chopped garlic bulb
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Mix all ingredient in a bowl. Add on top of each portion before serving.