Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crockpot Pork Osso Buco with Mushroom Risotto and Sautéed Greens

Every time I make pork, I wonder why I don't make it more often. So good!!! And this recipe is no exception! Its perfect for a special dinner at home, and certain to impress any guests if you're entertaining. 

I spent the afternoon researching osso buco recipes and finally came up with my own version for the crockpot. Huge success! Hubby went back for seconds and thirds, both kids ate it up, and we have lots of leftovers to enjoy. The pork was awesome with the risotto, but it would be great with polenta or with more roasted veggies for a no-carb option.  Risotto does require some attention, so be sure to have another adult present to watch your children while you stir and stir.  It's only 20-30 minutes and totally worth it!!!

Below you will find the recipes for both the crockpot pork osso buco and the mushroom risotto. Give these recipes a try - you won't be disappointed.

Happy Cooking!

Crockpot Pork Osso Buco
3.5-4 lb pork butt roast, bone-in
salt & pepper
2 carrots, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (I would have used 1 sprig of fresh but didn't have any)
1 bay leaf
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of dry white wine
2 T tomato paste

The cast of characters plus some wine, not pictured here
Layer the vegetables on the bottom of the crockpot, as pictured.
Add the herbs, tomato pasta, stock and wine.  Sprinkle the pork roast with salt & pepper all over the top and sides.  Add to the crockpot.  Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. 

Take the pork out, probably in pieces as seen below, because it is just falling apart.  Yummy! 
Discard any fat and the bone.  Shred pork into chunks and place on a serving platter.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the vegetables and place them on top of the pork.  If you have a fat separator, pour the liquid into the contraption to enjoy more of the cooking liquid on top of your pork.  Otherwise, you can try to skim some of the fat off the top and do the same.  We found that with the creamy risotto, the cooking liquid was not necessary. 

A huge serving plate of pork goodness!
Serve each person with a scoop or two of risotto, sauteed greens on top, then pork on top of that.  So delicious!  A must try! 

Mushroom Risotto
2 cups of dried mushrooms (I used some from a package I buy at Bj's wholesale - the picture of the box is below), rehydrated and 2-3 cups of the soaking liquid reserved as mushroom stock for the risotto
3 cups of chicken stock (If you don't use the mushrooms stock, then you will need 2-3 additional cups of chicken stock)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 glove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice (no other rice will work - arborio is specially made for risotto)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc because that's what I like to drink)
2 T parmesan cheese (it tastes even better with more cheese, so if you don't care about the extra calories, then add 1/2 cup instead)
salt and pepper to taste

To rehydrate the mushrooms, put them in a sauce pan with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  turn the heat off, cover and let steep for 45 minutes to an hour.  Drain, reserving the liquid as mushroom stock for the risotto.  Coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside.  Below is the picture of the box of mushrooms I used.  If you can't find a dried blend, you can always buy an assortment of fresh mushrooms and saute them in advance.  You'll just need to have more chicken or vegetable stock on hand.

Before beginning the risotto, heat the stock that you will be using in a saucepan and keep it on the stove over low heat.  You want to add hot stock to the risotto as you make it.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it becomes frothy and add the olive oil.  (The olive oil has a higher burning point than butter, so the butter will not burn).  Add the onions and saute until translucent. 
Add the garlic and saute up to one minute more, being careful not to burn it.  Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil and butter.  Then add the wine and stir until the rice has absorbed the wine.

Add the stock a little at a time, just until you cover the rice.  Stir frequently until most is absorbed.  See the photos below.
Adding some stock...
The stock has absorbed and I'm ready to add more.
Continue adding the stock slowly - it will take about 5-7 cycles of adding liquid, stirring occasionally until absorbed, then adding more.  The entire process should take 20-30 minutes, until the rice is aldente and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Add the mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  (I was surprised at the amount of salt I needed to add at the end, seeing as though I did not salt it as I cooked).  So yummy!  You could have this as a dish all on its own for meatless Monday!  Enjoy!

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