Lesson 33: Beef Cheeks & Osso Bucco

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today I had beef cheeks for the very first time.  All I can say is MMMMMMM!  Our braised beef cheeks turned out amazing.  Just like yesterday, we seared the meat and removed it from the pan before adding the vegetables (mirepoix), liquids (red wine and veal stock), and herbs.  The cheeks continued cooking in the oven for another 2 hours.  The meat was so tender and flavorful.  My mouth is drooling thinking about the sauce that was reduced and finished with butter.. mmm mmmm!!!!!  I couldn't help myself from taking some french bread and dunking it into the extra sauce in the pan :)

Another wonderful dish that we made was the Osso Bucco.  After braising in a liquid of veal stock, white wine, san marzano tomatoes, mirepoix, garlic, and herbs, the veal shanks were perfectly falling off the bone and perfectly flavorful.  I brought home lots for my brother and dad to try!    The shanks were finished off with a gremolata of minced garlic, parsley, and lemon rind.

For the vegetables today, we braised fennel and endive.  I was not too excited about these vegetable choices, but after braising them in wine and stock..and adding bacon to both dishes, they were actually wonderful!  Here is a picture of the braised fennel, which included bacon lardons, onions, and garlic:

The endive was actually wrapped in the bacon while they cooked and also included a mixture of onions, carrots, and garlic:

The very last dish that we made today did not get the credit it deserved.  We were all so excited about the flavors that the beef cheeks and osso bucco brought to the table, that the whole red snapper dish ended up sitting off to the side going unnoticed.  We braised a whole red snapper in a mixture of tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives capers, jalepenos, fish stock, and oregano.  All good flavors, right?  Well, it just didn't measure up to the other dishes.  I had a taste and just wasn't feeling it.  Perhaps if it was the star dish of the day I would have appreciated it more, but most of us just pushed it off to the side and forgot about it.  We had bigger and better things to eat!    Here's a picture of our poor fish:

Looks great right?  You can see its little mouth sticking out on the right side... Looks kind of sad because nobody's eating it :(


Anonymous said...

Everything looks wonderful, Allie! I loved the endive and fennel! Yum! Love, Mom

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