With Easter quickly approaching I figured that it was about time to start testing some dishes for my Easter menu and I had several ideas. Up first was this Moroccan style osso buco inspired by this recipe for ossobuco with prunes, apricots and saffron from What's For Lunch Honey? . I always enjoy combining cooking styles and flavours from different cuisines and I knew that if you took two already amazing dishes, ossobuco and apricot lamb tagine , and combined them that you would have a winner and I just had to try it. Ossobuco is an Italian dish where a veal shank is braised in a wine broth along with vegetables and a tajine is a North African dish that is slowly braised in a tajine and it commonly includes both sweet and savoury aspects along with a warm Moroccan spice blend. For the recipe, I started out with my ossobuco recipe and then I added some dried apricots and prunes along with a blend of warm spices. Don't let the length of the ingredients in this recipe fool you, it is actually pretty easy to make and it only requires about a half an hour of hands on time with the rest of the time spent slowly braising in the oven. The ossobuco tagine turned out really well! I have to say that the sweet and savoury aspects of this dish worked fantastically and you just scan't miss that super tender, falling of the bone veal. I served the ossobuco tajine on some whole wheat couscous and garnished it with a gremolata. This ossobuco tajine would definitely be welcome on my Easter menu!
A Moroccan take on osso buco. Veal shanks braised in a sweet and savoury tomato sauce with a Moroccan spice blend.
- 2 veal shanks, with skin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup beef or veal stock
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup prunes, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season the veal with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan over medium-high heat.
- Brown the veal on all sides and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery and saute over medium heat until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
- Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, apricots, prunes, harissa, paprika, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Add the veal, cover, transfer to a preheated 350F/180C oven and braise until the veal is fall off the bone tender, about 2-3 hours. Check the pot every once in a while and if the liquid drops below half way up the veal, add some more stock.
Option: For One-Pan: Make this a one-pan meal by adding 1 cup couscous and 1 1/2 cups broth after step 8, bringing to a boil and removing from heat to let sit, covered, until the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.