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Beef shanks braised in white wine, soffritto, and a bouquet garni of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano. Topped with gremolata and served with orzo faux-risotto.
Yes, I know it's usually veal - but I use what I have! I've never actually had this in a restaurant, so I can't say for sure how close it was. However, the recipes I looked at were similar, and this seemed pretty tasty regardless!
The "faux risotto".
The basil leaf on top was a little odd, I'll admit. I was thinking flag...
In any case, it turned out very well in my opinion - though we did end up eating around 10PM because I started far too late! Beef especially takes a very long time braising in the oven.
The gremolata was delicious - lemon and orange rind, parsley, and garlic. However, I might cut the orange - one recipe called for it, but I tend to dislike orange and meat for some reason. Maybe just use a lot less - it's much more dominating than the other flavors.
The faux risotto with orzo pasta was actually something I randomly thought of, but with a quick google search, it appears celebrity chef Emeril already thought of it...damn. It works just like a risotto, and turns out almost as good! Great when you are in a pinch for arborio rice (the traditional rice for risotto), or just a nice change.
Orzo "faux" risotto:
1 lb orzo pasta
~4+ cups warm stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, minced
1 cup peas, cooked
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish.
4+ tbsps Parmiggiano Reggiano, plus more to garnish.
4 tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Heat the oil on med-low heat.
Add onion and cook until translucent.
Add orzo and cook until translucent and fully coated in olive oil. Can be lightly toasted.
Add garlic and saute until fragrant but not brown
Add wine to deglaze (can add earlier if things are getting stuck).
Add about 3/4 cup of stock. Stir. Once absorbed and sizzling, add same amount again.
Repeat until al dente and still a little creamy, just like a risotto!
Remove from heat and mix in remaining ingredients.
Garnish with extra cheese and parsley.
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