Osso buco is a dish that is typically made with veal shanks, but in this dish, large carrots are treated like a tough piece of meat, such as veal.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ lbs large carrots, topped and peeled, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 10 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 bouquet garni (made with 6 parsley sprigs, 3 thyme sprigs, and 1 bay leaf tied with kitchen twine)
- ½ orange, cut in 2, including the peel
- 4 slices dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in ½ cup hot water for 10 minutes
- salt, to taste
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs carrot tops, chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Braise the carrots by simmering them for a long time until they are tender. Add oil to a pan on the stove. Then, add the carrots and cook over medium heat, turning frequently, until they are golden brown or slightly darker (for about 12 to 15 minutes). Remove the carrots from the pan and place them on a plate.
To the same pan on the stove, add onion and celery and cook over moderate heat for about 4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, and when it bursts into aroma, add the tomatoes, stock, bouquet garni, and orange slice. Then, add the mushrooms and their soaking liquid, leaving behind any dirt that may have dropped from the mushrooms.
Bring this sauce to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Add the carrots to the braising liquid. Cover and cook over low heat, turning the carrots occasionally, until tender but still holding their shape (about an hour). Discard the bouquet garni, the mushrooms, and the orange. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Because the carrots are cooked for so long, they might lose their vitality and freshness. But these qualities can be replaced with complexity, which can be built into the dish with gremolata. Gremolata, which includes parsley and garlic, is sprinkled over osso buco to give it a fresh, vital quality.
To make the gremolata, chop parsley and garlic, as well as some carrot tops. Add lemon zest. Add the gremolata to the hot braised carrots and stir. Serve the carrots hot in their sauce.