Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Osso Bucco

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I've eaten a lot of Italian food in my life. Probably more than most people not actually living in Italy. I can still remember one of the first times I realized the world was not Italian. I was at a friend's house and saw their dad cut his spaghetti with a knife and fork and eat the tiny pieces like rice. ( Insert Shudder Here )

But there was one Italian dish we never had at my house is Osso Bucco and not just because it is a Milanese dish and that's like a world a way from Palermo. The reason : VEAL.

See - No matter how Italian my mom is and how not down with the whole animal rights/vegan thing she might be. . .  she would never eat, serve or allow her children to eat baby cows. There are just some things that just aren't right. What happens to baby cows to make veal is one of them. Ironically, this systematic form of cruelty was my introduction to how awful the world can be to animals and much to the frustration and disapproval of my mother - started me on this life-long mission to make the world a more compassionate place for animals and to the love of my life.

Let's get back to food that isn't made by jerks because THIS DISH FREAKING ROCKS!
  • 1 Package of Gardein Homestyle Beef-less Tips
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper ( freshly ground )
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Apple Juice
  • 1/3 Cup of  Dry White Wine
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Pinches of Onion Powder
  • 1 Cup of Better Than Bouillon Broth ( vegetable flavor - made into a broth per directions on the label )
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Braggs (if you don't love salty food - you may want to make this 1/2 of a teaspoon)
  • 2 Bay Leaves (dried)
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley (fresh and chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Peel (grated)
  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese (topping)
  • 6 Cups of Mashed Potatoes (see below)
Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes:
  • 6 Medium red Potatoes (chopped - not peeled - we like the skin in there)
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Margarine (softened)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt (if you don't like salty food - skip this ingredient - there is plenty salt in the sauce)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
Boil the Potatoes in a 2 quart saucepan - make sure you have enough water to cover the Potatoes. Once the Potatoes are tender when stab them with a fork, drain the Potatoes through a colander.
Pour the cooked Potatoes back into the saucepan and blend with a Pastry Blender. Add Soy Milk, Margarine, Salt and Pepper. Blend with an electric hand mixer till it is perfection. It takes less than 5 minutes. . . be sure and get all the lumps out.
In a shallow bowl or deep dish, mix Flour and Pepper. Coat the Gardein with the flour mix.
In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Cook Gardein in the oil till the outside gets a crispy coasting - you need to keep the extra coating from sticking to the bottom - so scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula while cooking a few times.
When the Gardein is brown on all sides, stir in Apple Juice, White Wine, Garlic and Onion Powder. Reduce heat and stir. The sauce will start to thicken in less than a minute. Once it starts to thicken, add the Better Than Bouillon Broth, Braggs and Bay Leaves. Let simmer uncovered. If you cover it - the Gardein will get mushy.
Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat. . . You're ready to serve!
Place one or two scoops of Mashed Potatoes on a plate and then ladle the Gardein and "Gravy" on top. Sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan, grated Lemon Peel and chopped fresh Parsley. Be sure and get a lot of the Gravy/Broth. . .it is really the best part. (I was kinda -sorta licking my plate after I finished dinner to get it all)


  1. This sounds like the ultimate in comfort food and incredibly YUMMY. The perfect meal for an early Sunday dinner.

    Thanks, Shannons!

  2. I love Reading your blog!
    I wish I could buy the special ingredients in Australia. You can't buy gardein here, there are no fake beef products that I know of other than burgers. Could I use tempeh?

  3. I think Tempeh would be awesome in this!

  4. I love the Better Than Bouillon products in general, but... the vegetable flavor does not measure up. Half an onion, a carrot sliced thin, a few cloves garlic (all lightly sautéed) and a few stalks of celery chopped, then simmered in water, is definitely worth the effort instead of using this stuff.