I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.
This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal. (Joel Salatin, farmer and author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal; You Can Farm)
I love my Le Creuset casserole. It is possibly my favouritist piece of kitchen equipment in my whole kitchen. Well, after my knives, it is. I’ve had it for years. So long, in fact, that the good people at Le Creuset don’t even make casseroles in my colour-way anymore. No matter – there’s still a lot of life in my well-loved one, yet.
I’ve probably mentioned my tactic of cooking once to eat twice (or even, thrice), before. It works particularly well for slow cooking in my Le Creuset. And, I know there are people out there who swear by their slow cookers. All power to them. But, me – I like the old-fashioned process of preparing, chopping, slicing, searing, simmering, seasoning – and then checking – as I braise my dish.
And, braising is the way to go if you want to maximise the nutritional value of meat in your diet (AND it’s budget-friendly). There is a tendency to focus far too much on the sexier, high-end cuts of meat these days – steaks, back-straps, chicken breasts. But did you know that’s not so healthy? – Especially all the time.
According to the very knowledgable Denise Minger, our high intake of methionine (an amino acid that comes from muscle meats), combined with our low intake of glycine (an amino acid from skin, bones, cartilage, etc) is a setup for chronic health issues.
Eat more slow cooked food, I say!
And, did I mention it tastes fantastic, too?
My blogging buddy, Petra recently posted a recipe for Kahlua Lamb Shanks. She made it for breakfast! Frankly, it looked pretty amazing to me, and I was all set to adapt it to fit the 1.5 kilos of osso buco I had defrosting.
But, I got a little carried away. This AIP jaunt is really changing the way I approach cooking. At every opportunity, I look for ways to include more veggies and bone broth into my day. For this wee number, I managed to slip in onion, celery, carrot, garlic and silver beet/swiss chard, along with bone broth I had prepared earlier. Not so bad, I reckon!
Don’t know what Osso Buco is? Osso buco is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese.
The extra-special thing about osso buco is that because the shank is cut cross-ways, you get lots of lovely bone marrow melting into the braise as your meat cooks.
Of course, on the AIP, there is no risotto. And, instead of gremolata, this time I added some wilted greens into the dish. The end result is a bit of a one-pot-wonder, although if you’d like your meat to stretch even further it would be great on a root vegetable mash…
Ingredients 1.5 kilos happy, pasture-raised ‘osso buco’ (I had 5 large pieces) Method 1) Half an hour before you begin cooking, remove your shin pieces from your fridge and bring to room temperature. I like to salt my meat at this stage. 2) Heat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Place a casserole over a medium heat and add your fat. Once the fat has melted, brown the meat in batches. As each piece finishes, remove it from the pan and put aside in a bowl. 3) While the meat is browning; wash, peel and dice carrots, celery, onions. Peel and chop your garlic and dice your bacon. Finely chop your rosemary. Put aside until ready. 4) Once all your meat has been browned, turn the element down to low and add the vegetables, rosemary and garlic to the casserole. Allow to sweat for ten minutes. 5) Add balsamic and apple cider vinegars. Mix thoroughly with softened vegetables. Allow to bubble for a minute or two. 6) Layer the shins over the top of the vegetables. Add your bone broth/stock. Bring to a slow boil. 7) Place the lid firmly on the casserole and transfer to the oven. Let it work its magic for three hours. I like to check it once or twice because I’m nosey like that! 8) Remove the lid and place back in the oven for thirty minutes to reduce some of the liquid. 9) Remove the casserole from the oven. At this point, your meat should have fallen off the bone. Remove the bones, ensuring all the lovely marrow has melted into the dish. At this point I like to break apart the meat with two forks – it should just fall apart. 10) Stir in silver beet/chard ribbons, pop on the lid, and put the casserole back into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the greens to wilt. 11) Check for seasoning and serve. E N J O Y !
TSL's Osso Buco - AIP Style
2 x onions
2 x carrots
2 x large sticks celery
3 x garlic cloves
4 x rashers of bacon
1 Tablespoon fat (I used beef tallow)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups bone broth (or beef stock)
1 x large bunch silver beet/swiss chard – washed, dried and cut into ribbons
6) Layer the shins over the top of the vegetables. Add your bone broth/stock. Bring to a slow boil.
8) Remove the lid and place back in the oven for thirty minutes to reduce some of the liquid.
11) Check for seasoning and serve.
E N J O Y !