Randall Lineback is an American heritage breed of slow-maturing all-purpose cattle (bred for dairy, meat and labor) being brought back from the edge of extinction by a handful of farmers, such as Joe Henderson of Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, Va. The Linebacks are pasture-raised, grain-finished and processed at eight months, so they are too old to be considered veal and too young to be considered beef. Their flesh has a rose hue, a fine grain and little fat. The flavor is distinctly unlike that of the beef or veal most Americans are used to. Substitute ground veal or beef in this recipe if you must, but the flavor and texture will not be the same.
The meat is available at the Butcher's Block and at Society Fair (opening in early 2012), both in Alexandria.
Serve over rice pilaf or steamed couscous.
Make Ahead: The osso buco may be made a day or two ahead and reheated.
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1 chipotle in adobo, such as La Costena brand
- 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- Flour, for dusting
- 6 large (16 ounces) Randall Lineback osso buco (cross-cut shanks; see headnote)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into small dice (1 cup)
- 1 small carrot, cut into small dice (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine , such as syrah or cabernet
- 2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
- 28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
- Chopped cilantro, parsley or chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the thyme, oregano, cumin, cloves, salt, pepper, chipotle and garlic in a small bowl.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the flour on a plate. Use paper towels to pat dry the osso buco, then season them generously with salt and pepper to taste. Gently press the meat into the flour so it's coated on both sides, then shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan -- large and wide enough for the osso buco to fit in a single layer -- over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the osso buco and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned, then turn over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side or until browned. Transfer them to a plate. Keep the pan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and carrot to the hot pan; cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have softened. Stir in the spice mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine; use a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the broth and the crushed tomatoes and their juices, stirring to incorporate.
Return the osso buco to the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven; cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Transfer to a deep serving dish, then pour the pan juices into a bowl.
Skim off and discard any fat on the surface of the pan juices. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Pour the pureed sauce over the osso buco and garnish with chopped cilantro, parsley or chives. Serve immediately.
From Sourced columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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