Restaurateur Lidia Bastianich (of Felidia, Becco, and Frico Bar in New York City and Lidia’s in Kansas City) gave us this hearty and delicious recipe.
Yield: serves 6
- 2 medium oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 10 juniper berries
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (8–10-oz.) venison osso bucco, cut from the hind shanks
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup fruity red wine, such as chianti
- 1 cup fresh carrot juice
- 6 plum tomatoes, peeled and crushed
- 2 cups hot chicken stock
- Peel zest from oranges and lemon in wide strips with a vegetable peeler. Set the zest of 1 orange and lemon aside for sauce. Slice zest of other orange into narrow strips about 1⁄8″ wide and set aside for garnish. Remove and discard pithy membrane of 1 orange, then slice into segments and reserve for garnish. Juice second orange and set juice aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot with cover over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and juniper berries, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, generously season venison with salt. Dredge venison in flour until lightly coated, then shake off excess flour. Add vegetable oil to same pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add venison in a single layer and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Return vegetable mixture to pot, reduce heat to medium, stir in tomato paste, and cook until tomato paste begins to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits stuck to bottom of pot. Add carrot juice, reserved orange juice, and reserved wide strips of orange and lemon zest. Bring to a vigorous boil and cook until sauce has reduced and vegetables have softened, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir in hot chicken stock, partially cover pot, and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours, or until meat is fork-tender.
- Remove meat from pot when done. Strain sauce through a sieve, pressing on vegetables to extract liquid; discard solids. Return meat to pot with sauce and keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with reserved orange segments and zest, and serve with polenta, if you like.