Remember the slow cookers popular in the eighties? I had one and turned out many an insipid and watery meal back then. Finally I gave up trying to produce anything tasty in my slow cooker. It was relegated to the back of the cupboard and only ever made an appearance, keeping the mulled wine warm in winter.
Several months ago Breville asked if I'd like to one of their latest slow cookers to play with. Their latest slow cooker with the removable insert that allowed you to brown the meat first. Sure I would, 'cos I always knew why my meals in my eighties slowcooker were dull and insipid. I never bothered to brown the meat first.
I also had a further reason for accepting the offer. Since my last round of chemo I've been suffering with some painful side effects. This has made standing at the kitchen bench for any length of time tiring. Which resulted with me being quite grumpy when I sat down to eat dinner. Now I do all the work in the morning, rest up and sit down to dinner with a smile on my face. Much more pleasant for Bryan than the grumpy old biddy I was turning into.
Browning the meat prior to slow cooking has resulted in a much nicer looking and better tasting meal. This slow cooker makes a great savoury mince, insanely tender and moist slow roasted lamb, melting off the bone osso bucco,poached fruit - I've only poached apples but imagine the smell of your house with autumn quince simmering away.
OSSO BUCCO BIANCO
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 pieces of veal shank (about 3 cm or 1 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk of celery, finely sliced
- 2 anchovies
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine. I used pinot gris.
- 500 ml vegetable, veal or chicken stock
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 strip of lemon peel without the white pith
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 parmegiano rind (optional)
- Remove slow cooker insert and heat on stove top.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter over a medium heat.
- Add onions,carrots,celery and soften for about 15 minutes. Stir to avoid vegetables burning.
- Remove vegetables and set aside.
- Coat the veal pieces in the seasoned flour.
- Add remaining oil and butter to pan and allow to melt.
- Brown veal pieces on both sides in two batches. Don't overcrowd pan.
- Remove and set aside with the vegetables.
- Add anchovies and saute until melted.
- Add wine, stock, lemon juice, lemon rind, bay leaves, parmegiano rind.
- Bring to boil, then return veal pieces and vegetables to pot.
- Place insert back into slow cooker base.
- Cook on low setting for 6 hours.
- Before serving, remove veal pieces from pot. Place insert back on stove top on high heat. Boil for a few minutes to thicken sauce.
- Return veal pieces to pot, adjust seasoning.
- Serve with a sprinkling of gremolta on the top.
FULL DISCLOSURE : The slow cooker was provided by Breville.