Recipe: Compotée d'Osso Buco

Ouch. Pictures don't lie, do they? Over the weekend, my cooking pal, Amy, and I attempted to re-create the Compotée d'Osso Buco that we had one afternoon in Paris (above, left). Pierre, the chef, had given Amy a loose idea of how he made it, so armed with a few notes, we hit the stove.

We started with a great cut of veal from Florence Prime Meats (5 Jones Street @ West 4th, NYC), then followed Pierre's vague instructions, adding a little of our own instinct.

The result (above, right) was nothing like the original and we'll keep trying to perfect the Compotée (we have a pretty good idea of what went wrong.)

However, sharing the meal with our two other friends who had been at the original lunch just a week prior in Paris, at a candle-lit spread in our tiny back yard, made for an unforgetable evening.

Compotée d'Osso Buco

2 Tbsp. butter
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 yellow onion
1 6"-8" cut Osso Buco (tied up and prepared by butcher)
Flour
1/2 bottle white wine
1/2 cup Fresh orange juice
14 oz. can of whole tomatoes (1/2 28oz. can)
4 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
Fleur de'sel

Onion jam/relish
Baguette

Make a mirepoix of carrot, celery and onion, (chopped fine). Melt butter in a soup pot and sauté slowly over medium heat until medium-soft.

Start with a nice tied up bundle of osso buco (ask your local butcher to prepare the meat for you), flour and sear all sides of the meat in a sauté pan over high heat. Remove, set aside.

Deglaze the pan with half of the white wine and all of the orange juice.

Plunk the seared meat into the nest of mirepoix, add the liquids from the pan, the tomatoes and the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf (tied up with a string).

The meat should be sort of submerged in good juices... so a little more wine on top won't hurt.

Cook, covered, for 2 hours on medium heat ("turn it on and forget about for 2 hours"), then lower heat to low, forget about it for another hour.

Take out the meat -- let everything cool. Skim off the fat from the juices/vegetables. Pick apart the meat into small shreds.

Pack into little jars: (Pierre recycles the crème fraîche jars with nice fitting plastic lids) meat in first, then the vegetables and juices. Cover and refrigerate.

He served us ours, having made them the day before, but he said you can leave them in the fridge 3-4 days.

Invert onto serving plate sprinkle coarse fleur de'sel on top., and serve with onion jam/relish and slices of baguette.