Perfect food partnership | Lemon, parsley and garlic | Osso Bucco

The big day is almost upon us. Yes, Valentine’s is but a day away – florists are out of roses, Thornton’s are out of chocolates, and Boots are out of johnnies. If you are loved up then chances are you’ll have a special day and good luck to you. But for the scores of singletons out there, the most to look forward to is probably a large gin and a lachrymal menage a moi. Not on my watch! Forget your doleful, self-pitying loneliness, and wallow in the perfection of these here food couples.

Well, in this case, food threesome. Parsley, lemon, and garlic are a trinity to rival any. You may look at this photograph and think the sneeze of gremolata merely apologetic, but believe me, it is what makes this dish.

Osso Bucco with risotto and gremolata

Osso bucco is traditionally served with saffron risotto, but I don’t want the saffron stealing the show from the gremolata, like some gastronomic peeping Tom.

Serves 2

For the osso bucco

500g veal shin – two big pieces or 4 small

Plain flour

1 onion, peeled and sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced

A glass red wine

1 tin tomatoes

For the risotto

A shallot, peeled and finely chopped

A stick celery, finely chopped

120g risotto rice

A little white wine

800ml chicken stock

50g Parmesan cheese, grated

25g butter

For the gremolata

A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

A clove garlic, peeled and chopped

The zest of a lemon

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- Dust the veal shin in flour, season with salt and pepper and brown on both sides in a saute pan. Remove, lower the heat, and fry the onion and garlic in a little butter until softened. Return the veal to the pan, along with a glass of red wine and a tin of tomatoes. Season with a little sugar, cover and cook over a very low heat for an hour and a half.

- 30 minutes before the veal is ready, make the risotto. Sweat the onion and celery in a little oil until soft and translucent. Bang up the heat and add the risotto rice. Stir for a minute before adding the white wine and a ladle of stock. Continue stirring, adding a ladle of stock each time the pan is dry. After about 15 minutes test the rice. When it is almost cooked, add the cheese and the butter, stir vigorously for 30 seconds or so, and turn off the heat.

- Make the gremolata by mixing the chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Serve the risotto with the veal shin and a liberal scattering of gremolata. Take care not to lose the marrow in the middle of the shin – part of the joy of this dish is slurping it out of the bone.

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