Eight Bells

If you enjoy this blog please leave a comment, if there is something you would like to see feel free to make a request and don't forget to use the search function.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Osso Bucco

The dish Ossobuco alla Milanese or "Osso Bucco" comes from Milan, Italy and is traditionally made with braised veal shanks and dry white wine. This version uses the sliced venison shin/shank that we got from the "Taupiri Deli and Ice Cream" shop a couple of weeks ago and substitutes red wine for white. The gremolata is sprinkled on top at the end, as in the picture. The recipe will serve four or five.

Osso Bucco

10 slices of venison shin/shank about 3cm thick
1/2 a cup of plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 onions, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3-4 sticks of celery, diced (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
3 carrots, diced (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tin of Delmaine whole roma tomatoes
2 cups of liquid beef stock
1 1/4 cups of red wine (we used Pinot Noir but any red wine that you like to drink would be fine)
12 Kalamata olives
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped


2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Put the flour in a large plastic bag with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the venison pieces and coat with the mixture.
Heat a large, deep, oven proof casserole, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the venison on all sides.
Remove the meat and set aside then add the remaining olive oil and fry the garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Continue cooking until lightly browned and then add the tomatoes, stock, wine, olives, herbs and chilli.
Return the meat to the casserole ensuring the meat is covered with the vegetable mixture. Cover and place in your oven at 180C, cook for around two hours. After two hours remove the lid and cook a further 30 minutes to reduced the sauce until it is thick and tasty, taste and season if necessary.
Mix the ingredients for the gremolata in a bowl, plate the Osso Bucco and then sprinkle the gremolata over the dish. Serve with scalloped potatoes or what you will.
For the true carnivores among you, don't forget to suck the marrow out of the shin bones...ewww.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rabbit with Mushrooms and Mustard Sauce

First, catch your rabbit; not as easy as we thought. Our rabbit hunting adventures took us all around town and eventually to the curiously named "Taupiri Deli and Ice Cream Shop" in Taupiri. This fantastic little shop has a huge range of wild foods and about 30 different flavours of ice cream. We picked up fresh rabbit, venison shin and half a smoked eel...yum.
This recipe comes from the April-May 2009 edition of "Dish" magazine. I have altered it slightly because the "Dish" recipe produced a dish that was too salty. We used fresh rabbit shoulders rather than a whole rabbit.
This recipe was the perfect thing to try out our shiny new toy from The Scullery, check out this bad boy.

The recipe will serve 4-5. At the end of cooking you should have something that looks a bit like this.

Rabbit with Mushrooms and Mustard Sauce

1 fresh, farmed rabbit (we used a pack of fresh rabbit shoulders, there were about 16 pieces)
Enough streaky bacon to wrap your rabbit pieces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
450g of small button mushrooms
1/2 a cup of Marsala
1 cup of chicken stock (use campbells reduced salt liquid stock, the powdered stock will be too salty)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of cream
2 tablespoons of flat leafed parsley, chopped

If you are using a whole rabbit break it down in to 6-8 pieces and wrap each piece with the bacon. Secure the bacon with kitchen string. You should have something resembling the picture below although if you are using a whole rabbit you will have bigger and fewer pieces.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan and brown the rabbit on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Add the garlic, mustard, rosemary, bay leaves and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms start to soften, add a little stock if the pan becomes to dry.
Increase the heat and add the Marsala and stock, add freshly ground black pepper and allow to bubble up. Add the rabbit and any resting juices back to the pan.
Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Braise for about 25-30 minutes or until the rabbit is tender.
Remove the rabbit to a plate and cover to keep warm. Stir in the cream and boil until the sauce is reduced and syrupy. Stir in the flat leafed parsley, taste and season if required. Add the rabbit back to the pan and spoon over the sauce.

We served the rabbit with scalloped potatoes and green beans. Remove the string before serving.