Sometimes I have to outwit my freezer. If I want to slip in something new, I must take something out. Yes, I am one of those people whose freezer is always too full. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as one friend tells me, and sure enough, my father is the same way – and you don’t even want to think about looking in our refrigerators!
Anyhoo, I needed to use up this gorgeous hunk of veal shank I’d squirrled away sometime during the winter, so I turned to my trusty Mark Bittman book, “How to Cook Everything.” (The book’s 10th anniversary edition is out.) And, naturally, he had the perfect recipe, and naturally (okay, got lucky there), I had all the ingredients, mirepoix, dry white wine, thyme, stock…
Voila! The result was delicious, and surprisingly light in flavor, a good dish for a cool spring evening. Next time I see a nice-looking veal shank like this I will try another Bittman recipe for osso buco that includes garlic and anchovy. That one sounds great too.
As I always say, Bittman is my culinary hero. A colleague at work tells me her nephew, Ben Fishner, is cooking his way through every recipe in “How To Cook Everything,” with Bittman’s “blessing.” He is writing about it online, and I gotta say, it’s a hoot. Sort of like “Julie & Julia” only with a willing cookbook author, which, at least according to the book (I haven’t seen the movie), Julia Child was not. She apparently thought it was kind of weird for Julie Powell to want to cook her way though “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Go figure.