This flavourful dish ticks all the boxes for a winning winter comfort dish. Its simplicity contradicts the deep resonance of flavour. The intensity and complexity of the dish can be played with depending on the body of the wine chosen and the richness of the beef stock (try a long-cooked beef broth using roasted bones and uncooked marrow bones), and if suited to the wine a little clove or juniper could be added.
- 1.6 kg osso buco
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Salt and pepper
- 60ml olive oil
- 100g piece pancetta or guanciale, cut into matchsticks
- 12 eschalots, peeled
- 130g (approx. 2 stalks) celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 400ml red wine
- 400ml beef broth
Rosemary and anchovy butter
- 80g butter
- 5 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 6 plump anchovy fillets, chopped
Creamy cauliflower purée
- 400ml cream
- 100ml beef broth
- 40g butter
- 1 medium/large head cauliflower, cut roughly into large florets
1. To make the braise
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced). Cut a circle of baking paper to fit snugly inside the casserole.
Cut the meat off the bones, into large chunks, trimming off any hard fat. Reserve the marrow bones. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and season generously turning the meat to coat.
Heat a heavy-based casserole or wide saucepan over medium-high heat, add 40ml of olive oil and fry the beef pieces (in two batches) for 4-5 minutes or until evenly browned. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Add the pancetta to the pan and sauté for a minute until the fat is beginning to turn translucent, add in the eschalots and sauté until both are a warm golden brown. Next add the remaining olive oil, celery and garlic, sauté for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, simmer for a minute or two then add the seared beef pieces, tucking in the herbs and marrow bones around them. Add the wine and bring to a boil, add the beef broth and return to a gentle simmer. Cover with the baking paper circle and a lid and cook in the oven for 3-3.5 hours until the meat is completely tender (check the progress periodically after an hour or so, adding a little additional beef broth if required).
2. To make the butter
Heat the butter in a small pan over low heat until melted, add in the garlic and rosemary, and continue to cook slowly for about 15 minutes until the garlic has softened, add the chopped anchovies and gently squash them into the hot butter until they have melted into the butter. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
3. To make the cauliflower purée
Add the cream, broth and butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat, until just simmering. Add the cauliflower and a large pinch of salt, turning the florets over in the hot cream. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, partially cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Blend to a smooth puree using an immersion blender or food processor. Season to taste.
4. To serve
Serve the beef over the cauliflower purée, with a spoonful of rosemary and anchovy butter. The marrow bones can be served with the beef or separately with chargrilled sourdough. A peppery salad with a lemony dressing is the perfect side dish.
As seen in Winter 2023