This year I went with something a little different for Christmas Eve dinner, it would certainly be delightful on any cool night, but we thought it was something special. If you don’t have a New Year menu planned, and expect guests this would be the perfect dish – not only can you make it earlier in the day, plate it, and refrigerate so you just need to pop it in the oven for 30 minutes – you can make it 2 weeks ahead and freeze it.
My butcher didn’t have spare bones to make veal stock, so I cheated! And boy am I glad for it – Knorr makes an excellent veal bouillon that worked in a pinch, if anything the flavor was more intense which is perfect for this dish.
Osso Buco Pies – 4 servings
4 thick veal shanks, tied with kitchen string to keep meat attached to the bone
2 tablespoons olive oil Plain flour, for dusting
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups dry white wine (Chardonnay)
4 cups veal stock
10 ounces white button mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 thyme sprigs
12 ounces flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks), diced
1/3 cup iced water
For the osso buco filling, preheat oven to 285 degrees F. Season the shanks to taste, lightly dust with flour and shake off the excess. Heat the oil in a wide/deep saute pan over medium-high heat, add shanks to pan and brown well all over (about 6-8 minutes), then set aside. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the little bits, then add the stock, mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme. Return the osso buco to the saute pan, season to taste, cover and braise in the oven, turning meat halfway through cooking, until the meat is fork tender, about 3-3 1/2 hours. Cool osso buco in the braising liquid, skim off fat that rises to top and discard thyme.
For buttery pastry dough, pulse flour, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse just until butter forms pea-sized pieces , then continue to pulse while adding iced water until clumps of dough form, adding more water 1 tbsp at a time if necessary. Transfer to a work surface, bring dough together and divide into 4 equal pieces and shape into discs. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. Dough will keep refrigerated for a day, or frozen for a month.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Divide the braising liquid and mushrooms among 4 deep, baking dishes (about 2.5 inches deep, by 5 inches wide). Remove string from shanks and place a shank in each dish.
Roll out each dough disc to a 6.5 inch round on a floured work surface and cut a hole in the centre (I used the end of my pastry tips). Lightly brush rims of dishes with eggwash, place a pastry round over each, with hole in dough over bone. Press pastry edges to seal and brush tops with eggwash. Place on a baking tray and bake until pastry is deep golden and filling is bubbling (30-35 minutes). Cool pies briefly on a wire rack, then serve.
Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!