For my cooking class this week, our class learned about the regions Lombardy and Trentino-Alto Adige and made Risotto alla Milanese, Ossobucco, and Caramelle alle Mele. THese two regions are still in Northern Italy but more eastern that the Piedmont, Valle d'Osto, and Linguria, the regions that we learned about last week. Trentino-Alto Adige borders Germany so there is a very strong German influence on the food with both German and Italian languages being spoken. Their main foods include polenta, rice, and soup with very little emphasis on pasta (pasta is a lot more influential in Southern Italy.) Today we are making Osobucco Meat, a safron risotto, and caramelled apples in a pie crust.
4 thick slices of shin of veal, cut with a piece of marrow bone
50g (2oz) butter
120ml (4fl oz) white wine
250g (8oz) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 anchovy, finely chopped (optional)
Melt butter in a pan. Coat the meat with the flour and brown in butter on both sides. Add the wine and let simmer for 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stock or water to cover and season with salt and peper. Cook, covered, for 1 and a half to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure the meat does not stick, until it is so tender it comes away from the bone. Add stock or water to keep the meat covered at first. The sauce should be thick at the end.
To make a Gremolata: Mix together the parsley, grated lemon rind, garlic and anchovy. Place a little on each piece of meat and cook a few minutes longer.
Risotta alla Milanese:
1 small onion, chopped (yellow onion, not red)
Small piece of marrow from a beef bon
1 3/4 pints meat or chicken stock
5fl oz dry white or red wine
10oz Arborio rice
1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
2oz grated parmesan
Melt half the butter in a pan, and fry the onion and marrow until the onion is soft. Heat the stock in a separate pan. Add the wine to the fried onion and boil. Add the rice and stir to coat and add a pinch of salt. Add the stock gradually, ladle by ladle, stirring constantly as it becomes absorbed. It takes about 20 minutes for the rice to cook. Then, add the saffron diluted in some of the stock. When the rice is done add the rest of the butter, and the Parmesan.
200g Apricot jam
Let the butter soften and cut into pieces. Work the flour with the butter; add the eggs and a pinch of salt. If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons of water. Wrap it up and put it in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Peel the apples, cut in slices, and saute with 1 tablespoon of butter until gold. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and saute a few more minutes. Let cool. Roll the dough and cut it in rectangular shapes. Place in the middle of each rectangle a teaspoon of jam, a few pine nuts, and a slice of apple. Close the edges and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Once finished baking, sprinkle them with lots of powdered sugar.
The meal was good, but not great. Personally, I'm biased when it comes to risotto as I'm spoiled my mom mom's delicious risotto. Also, I don't like a lot of butter in my dishes and I could definitely taste the butter. I'm not the biggest fan of Osobucco either and this dish had a certain flavor that didn't sit well with my tastebuds. Both were pretty good though as demonstrated by my empty plate and satisfied tummy afterwords. The best part was definitely the desert, I can'e even begin to explain how delicious the hot apricot jam and sugary apple slice was with a crunchy pastry crust underneath. Fabulous!