Saturday, February 19, 2011

M is for Missoni and Mmmmm...

It has been unseasonally beautiful and springlike here in New York and at sunset last night the sky was the exact shade of this late 1970s Missoni caftan: a shimmering shade of palest pink, sky blue and fluffy cloud. 

The Missonis are masters of knitware and think of themselves more as craftsman then fashion designers.  Ottavio painted watercolors that inspired the collections and Rosita designed the intricate knits.  This caftan which is really a rectangular shaped knit one fourth of which has been folded over and sewn which creates a sleeve - brilliantly simple!  is threaded with lurex which creates a gentle shimmer. Beautiful and bohemian and luxurious for day or night.

M is not just for Missoni but for Mmmm too.  Rosiata Missoni is also famously a well known cook. There is no depressing talk of diets or carbs just making good food, drinking good wine and enjoying life.  So here is Rosita's recipe for  Missoni style braised veal shank.  I am going to try making it this weekend and will let you know how it turns out.  And I will be wearing a similar caftan that I kept for myself After all, one must wear Missoni making a Missoni recipe!

Stinco di vitello alla Missoni (Braised veal shank Missoni-style) 
2 shins of veal, each 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds, 
prepared as described in Step No. 1 
Salt  and Freshly ground black pepper 
Sprinkling of fresh or dried rosemary 
1/2cup olive oil 
 1 cup dry white wine as needed
Hot water, as needed.
1.  The shin, or shank, of veal is the piece used for osso buco, but for that dish it is sliced all the way through. In the original stinco, or braised shin, it is cooked whole and, after being braised, it is sliced with the grain of the meat. This is a combination of the two methods. Have the butcher saw through the bone, cutting slices about one-and-one-half-inches thick. There should be four or five pieces to each shin. But the meat should not be cut all the way through the bottom. Have the butcher tie the shin together snugly so slices are close together and the marrow will not slip out. 
2.   Let the meat warm to room temperature before beginning to cook. Rub all sides with salt and pepper. If you use fresh rosemary, tuck five or six small sprigs under the string at various intervals. If using dried rosemary, sprinkle a little on the surface of the meat. 
3.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

4.   Pour olive oil into a heavy casserole into which the two shanks will fit closely but not too tightly. Enameled cast iron, copper or flameproof earthenware can be used. There should be a film of oil covering the bottom of the casserole. 
5.   Heat on the range. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add one shank and brown on all sides, using the cord to turn the meat. Do not poke holes into it with a fork. When golden brown on all sides, remove and reserve. Brown the second piece of veal. 

6.   Place both pieces of browned veal in the casserole with the wide end of one next to the thin end of the other, as when packing shoes (love that!  Cooking as seen through fashion!). Pour in white wine and let boil until half evaporated. Pan juices should be thick and shiny. 
7.   Cover and place in preheated oven for about two hours, or until meat is thoroughly tender and loosens from the center bone. Do not overcook until bone slips out or meat is too crumbly to cut into slices. Every 25 minutes, turn meat and, if pan juices are evaporating too rapidly, add a little hot water - just enough to make a sort of thick, soupy liquid at the bottom of the casserole. 
8 .  Let veal stand for 15 minutes in the casserole in a warm place, out of the oven, before carving. 
9.   To serve, remove strings and cut through the bottom of each slice. If gravy is too thin, reduce it over a high flame. If there is not enough of it, add a little hot water and let simmer for a minute or two, stirring in coagulated pan juices. There should be just a little golden-brown, almost clear, gravy to spoon over each slice of meat. Marrow spoons are not needed as any sharp pointed knife will extract the marrow from the bones. 
Yield: Six to eight servings. 

Update:  The Stinco Missoni style was delicious!  And not difficult to make.  Though the veal was a tad expensive. Rosita Missoni must have a professional butcher grade meat saw at home to slice through the bone before serving so I would recommend buying regular Osso Buco and then tie them together very well and do it that way.  Makes life a lot easier and everyone can get some of the yummy marrow.  

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