Eastside Road, December 21, 2011—WE LOOKED AT THE MENU yesterday, and I thought about it from time to time today, and when we sat down in the restaurant and looked at the menu again there was no doubt. I mean, it's been twenty degrees Fahrenheit at our front door every morning for a week. This is osso buco season.
Wikipedia sums it up neatly:
a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese.
There are two types of ossobuco: a modern version that has tomatoes and the original version which does not. The older version, ossobuco in bianco, is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. The modern and more popular recipe includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Gremolata is optional.
Tonight's version was nothing if not revisionist. Read the menu description, which I overlooked on first viewing:
HERITAGE PORK OSSO BUCCO
ACE Hard Cider braised pork, fennel seed gremolata, red cabbage & apples, crème fraiche spaetzle
Pork, not veal. Cider, not white wine. Red cabbage and apples. Why call it osso buco?
Still, it wasn't unpleasant, and the spaetzle were a nice touch. But you know? I think I'll make osso buco one of these days soon…
Zinfandel, Hawley "Ponzo Vineyard," 2010• Zin Restaurant, 344 Center Street, Healdsburg; (707) 473-0946