Date Night Dinner

I think Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays. If you know me you know, I love hearts and  I love pink.



I cannot believe Osso Buco night was a success. I was very hesitant to recreate mom’s dish because she is the best cook I know and this was one of the best dishes she has ever made. I followed her recipe (cooks illustrated) to the “t” and I can promise you it was identical, the only change mom made was using veal stock instead of chicken (definitely a must).


So if you want to recreate this at your house it’s as easy as 1,2,3- only a few steps are needed and a few hours of slow roasting and you will be set. Enjoy!

Classic Osso Buco (from Cooks Illustrated)


  • Osso Buco
  • 7tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6veal shanks (8 to 10 ounces and 1 1/2 inches thick each), tied around equator with butcher’s twine
  • 2 1/2cups dry white wine
  • 2medium onions, chopped medium
  • 2medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 2medium celery ribs, chopped medium
  • 6medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2bay leaves
  • 1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • Gremolata
  • 3medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2teaspoons minced lemon zest (see note)
  • 1/4cup minced fresh parsley leaves



  1. 1. FOR THE OSSO BUCO: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, dry shanks thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Place 3 shanks in single layer in Dutch oven and cook until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip shanks and cook on second side until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer shanks to bowl and set aside. Off heat, add 1/2 cup of wine to Dutch oven, scraping bottom with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Pour liquid into bowl with flavorful browned shanks. Return pot to medium-high heat, add 3 more tablespoons oil, and heat until shimmering. Brown remaining shanks, about 5 minutes for each side. Transfer shanks to bowl with other shanks. Off heat, add 1 more cup wine to pot, scraping bottom to loosen browned bits. Pour liquid into bowl with shanks.

    3. Set pot over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute longer. Increase heat to high and stir in broth, remaining cup wine, juices from veal shanks, and bay leaves. Add tomatoes and veal shanks to pot (liquid should just cover shanks). Cover pot, bring to simmer with lid slightly ajar, and place pot in oven. Cook shanks until meat is easily pierced with fork, but not falling off bone, about 2 hours.

    **DONT SKIP THIS__the best part!!! 4. FOR THE GREMOLATA: Combine garlic, lemon zest, and parsley in small bowl. Stir half of gremolata into pot, reserving rest for garnish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let osso buco stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

    5. Remove shanks from Dutch oven, cut off and discard butcher’s twine, and place 1 veal shank in each serving bowl. Discard bay leaves. Ladle some braising liquid over each shank and sprinkle with portion of remaining gremolata. Serve immediately.


    Saffron Risotto (Cook’s Illustrated)


    Don’t fret if you have broth left over once the rice is finished cooking; different brands of rice cook differently, and we prefer to err on the side of slightly too much broth rather than too little. If you do use all the broth and the rice has not finished cooking, add hot water.




    1. 1. Bring broth and water to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting to keep broth warm

      2. Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat; add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Add rice and crumble saffron threads with fingers into pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until edges of rice grains are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until wine is completely absorbed by rice, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups warm broth and, stirring infrequently (about every 3 minutes), simmer until liquid is absorbed and bottom of pan is dry, 10 to 12 minutes.

      3. Add more broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed to keep pan bottom from drying out (every 3 to 4 minutes), and cook, stirring frequently, until grains of rice are cooked through but still somewhat firm in center, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately in warmed shallow bowls.


I got a juicer for Valentine’s day and I am IN LOVE. Bowen is slightly concerned about our grocery bill. I have already cleaned out our produce once and been back to fresh  market for more vibrant veggies. I know with a blender and a strainer you can get similar results at home. It’s been done before at this house 🙂




1 beet, 4 celery stalks, handful of parsley, lemon and 1 apple–be back next week with more recipes, enjoy your weekend!

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