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Venison Ossobuco with Spaetzle Recipe

Venison Ossobuco with Spaetzle Recipe

Postby HighHeelKitchen » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:14 pm

Venison ossobuco with spaetzle:

For the spaetzle:
2+1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
2 large eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup finely minced cooked fresh spinach (see Note below)

For the ossobuco:
2 oranges
1 lemon
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
10 juniper berries
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped trimmed celery
1 cup all purpose flour
6 venison ossobuco, approximately 8 to 10 ounces each (see Note below)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup fruity red wine, such as Chianti
1 cup fresh carrot juice
1 cup crushed canned Italian San Marzano plum tomatoes or peeled ripe fresh plum tomatoes
5 cups Chicken Stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth, hot
Freshly ground black pepper and salt

For the spaetzle:
In a large bowl, stir the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg together. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the eggs and all but 2 Tablespoons of the milk. With a fork, incorporate the flour gradually into the egg mixture, adding enough of the remaining milk if necessary to make a stiff but supple dough. Beat in the spinach. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Transfer the batter into the well of a spaetzle maker and pass the batter into the boiling water. Cook the spaetzle until tender, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the spaetzle your particular spaetzle maker produces. Scoop out the spaetzle with a skimmer and transfer to a large skillet. If you are serving the spaetzle with a stew, such as the ossobuco of venison above, dress the spaetzle with some of the sauce from the recipe, or simply melted butter and toss over medium heat. Check the seasoning and serve hot.

Note: It is very important to squeeze out as much water from the spinach as possible. To end up with ? cup minced spinach, start with ? pound fresh spinach leaves. Remove any tough leaves, then blanch the spinach in a large pot of boiling salted water until the spinach is tender, about 1 minute. Drain the spinach in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. With your hands, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach, chop the spinach very fine, then squeeze again to remove more water.

For the ossobuco:
With a vegetable peeler, remove the zest bright orange part of the oranges' skin without the underlying white pith - in wide strips. Do the same to the lemon. Cut the zest of one orange into very thin - about 1/8-inch wide - strips. With a paring knife, cut off the white pith from one of the oranges. Working over a bowl, cut the orange segments free of the membranes and let them drop in the bowl as you work. Squeeze the juice from the remaining orange. Set the orange zest strips, the wide pieces of orange and lemon zest, the orange segments and the orange juice aside separately. Wrap the bay leaves, cloves, rosemary and juniper berries securely in a 4-inch square of cheesecloth.

In a heavy braising pan or casserole large enough to the hold all the venison pieces, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and the cheesecloth bundle of herbs. Season the vegetables lightly with salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the venison pieces generously with salt. Dredge them in flour until lightly coated, then shake off the excess flour. In a wide skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add as many of the venison pieces as will fit in a single layer and cook, turning as necessary, until well browned on all sides, about, 10 minutes. Add the browned ossobuco to the braising pan and repeat with the remaining venison. (If the vegetables are browned before all the venison is browned, remove the casserole from the heat).

Return the casserole to medium heat if necessary. Stir the tomato paste into the vegetable mixture in the casserole and cook, stirring until it begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Add the carrot juice, orange and lemon rind, and orange juice. Bring to a vigorous boil and boil 10 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes, adjust the heat to simmering and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of the hot chicken stock, stir well and return to a simmer. Let cook, with the lid slightly ajar, until the meat is tender at its thickest point, about 1 ? hours. Test for doneness with a cooking fork: the fork should pierce through the meat all the way to the bone with only a light resistance. Add the remaining stock as necessary to keep the meat almost completely covered.

When the ossobucchi are tender, remove them from the casserole. Pass the sauce through a sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid from them and to force some of them through the sieve. Return the meat and sauce to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and keep the venison warm.

Cook the spaetzle according to the directions in the following recipe. Remove them with a wire skimmer to a large skillet. Spoon enough of the venison sauce over the spaetzle to coat them. Toss lightly over low heat until the spaetzle begin to absorb the sauce. Season the spaetzle with salt and pepper.

To serve, transfer the ossobucchi to a platter or plates. Spoon most of the sauce over the venison and sprinkle them with the finely shredded orange zest. Decorate the venison with the orange segment and spoon the spaetzle around them. Serve at once.

Note: For this recipe, preferred is an ossobucco of venison cut from the thickest part of the shank, just below the knee. If this is not possible, and you are buying the whole shank, you may want to figure on one and a half pieces per person. Either way, have the butcher tie the venison pieces around the perimeter with a length of sturdy kitchen twine.
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