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Tonight I made faux osso bucco for dinner, using grass-fed beef shank instead of veal. I used this recipe from Epicurious as the foundation, making some adjustments based on the ingredients in my kitchen. I used red wine instead of white, one beef shank instead of four, water instead of beef stock, and tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes. I also omitted the butter and bacon and increased the amount of garlic.

It took about two hours for the beef to become fork-tender. For me, the real star of the dish was the gremolata. I had no idea what a difference some chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon zest could make. It adds another dimension, a burst of fresh, spring air into what might otherwise be a heavy braise.

I tried the dish with both garnacha and fino. It tasted great with both. The red wine complements the meat and wine, while the fino goes well with the lemon zest in the gremolata.

Dinner isn't this fancy every night. But when it is, I wish I could serve it to the world.


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