As I mentioned earlier in the Fried Pork Hock recipe, Teage Ezard is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors. His recipes continually rock my world, and this one (although involved and a little fussy) was a hit at a recent cookbook club we hosted, highlighting his book Lotus: Asian Flavours.
Because the meat is braised, it's very forgiving. There's some time involved in making the dumplings, but everything can be done ahead short of reheating the sauce, steaming the dumplings and a quick stir fry of the lettuce base. This frees you up to throw the meal together in about 10 minutes so you have time to sit down and get drunk with your guests, as you should.
Many thanks to Jackie Baisa for taking gorgeous shots of the food!
Teage Ezard's Osso Buco with Wasabi Potato Dumplings and Sichuan Pepper Sauce
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
6 thick slices veal osso buco
6 cups Veal Stock (Recipe Below)
1 tsp Sichuan Pepper Salt Powder (Recipe Below)
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
Sichuan Pepper Sauce
1 fresh cob corn, kernels removed for another use, cob coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, bruised
2 cilantro roots (or double the amount and use stems if you cant get roots), coarsely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, lightly toasted and ground
3 tablespoons black chinese vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Wasabi Potato Dumplings
14 oz waxy potatoes such as Desiree or Nicola, peeled and diced (I used Yukon Gold)
4 tablespoons butter, diced
2 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (I quadrupled this, because wasabi mellows significantly when hit with heat)
12 wonton skins
Stir Fried Lettuce
1 1/s tablespoons peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
8 green onions (scallions), cut into lengths
½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- Make the Sichuan Pepper Salt Powder and Veal Stock by following the recipes below.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet and brown the osso buco slices. Transfer to a casserole dish. Bring the veal stock to a boil and pour it over the osso buco. Cover the dish with a tight fitting lid or foil and place it in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Allow the meat to cool completely in the stock, then remove the meat and refrigerate until needed. Reserve the stock for the Sichuan Pepper Sauce.
Sichuan Pepper Sauce:
- Strain the osso buco stock into a large pot. Bring it to a boil, skimming the surface of any impurities, and reduce the stock by half. Add the corn cob and reduce the stock by another third, then remove the cob. (The corn helps the sauce to thicken naturally). Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for a further 5 minutes then remove from the heat. The sauce should lightly coat the back of a spoon.
Wasabi Potato Dumplings:
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and then mash them, preferably with a potato ricer. Add the butter, cream and wasabi paste and mix thoroughly. Season to taste.
- Lay six of the wonton skins out onto a clean work surface and place a heaped tablespoon of the potato mixture in the center of each one. Lightly brush around the edges with water. Top with the remaining six wonton skins and press the edges together to seal. Make sure you push out any air. Cut the dumplings into circles with a knife of cookie cutter and refrigerate them, covered in plastic wrap, until needed.
- Place the osso buco pieces in a large pan or skillet and strain the Sichuan Pepper sauce into the pan. Gently reheat the meat and sauce.
- Meanwhile, place the dumplings in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes.
- For the stir fried lettuce, heat the peanut oil in a wok and fry the garlic and green onions until fragrant and beginning to soften. Add the lettuce and stir fry over high heat until slightly charred and wilted. Remove from the heat before the lettuce begins to stew. For the best result, do this in two or three batches.
- To serve, divide the Stir-fried Lettuce between serving plates. Ad a piece of osso buco to each one and place a dumpling on top. Drizzle the sauce around the sides and sprinkle with the Sichuan Pepper-salt Powder. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Sichuan Pepper-Salt Powder:
2 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
4 Tablespoons Sea salt
- Dry roast the peppercorns and salt in a wok over medium heat until fragrant (1-2 minutes), stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder with a portar and pestle or spice grinder. Sift the powder and store in an airtight container. Use within a week as the pepper loses its fragrance quickly.
6 lbs (3 kgs) veal bones
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium brown onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, bruised
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
½ bunch celery, coarsely chopped
1 leek, coarsely chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup red wine
12 cups water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (180 degrees Celsius) degrees. Roast the veal bones for 1 ½ hours or until dark brown.
- Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the onion, celery, garlic, carrots and leek. Add the thyme, bat leaf, peppercorns and wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the roasted veal bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and then gently simmer the stock for 4-6 hours. Top up with fresh water from time to time to keep the liquid at its original level.
- Strain the stock into another pot and set aside to cool. Once cool, skim any fat from the surface and return the stock to a boil. Reduce it by a third. Allow to cool, then pour into a container and refrigerate or freeze.
Makes 8 cups (2 liters)
If you're so inclined, here's a link to the book: