Behind the French Menu gives a tasty background to French cuisine, French dishes, how they are made and how they should be served.
Where there is a story behind a dish's creation and
that story may aid the diner's enjoyment then that will also be included. Bon appétit!
Jarret de Veau. The Dish Called Osso Bucco in Italian. In France Jarret is Also a Cut Used for Many Other Dishes Made With Veal, Beef, Lamb and Pork.
Jarretde Veau –
Osso Bucco. from Behind the French Menu by Bryan Newman
Photograph courtesy of stu_spivak.
is a cut from a shin or shank of veal; the cut is across the bone and below the knee; the meat on a veal shank surrounds the
bone.Osso bucco or jarret de veau is
the same cut whether in Italian on French; however, arguments over the vegetables and
herbs used and how they are prepared will go on forever.The most important part of this dish is the center
bone; it is a marrow bone and will provide much of the flavor and texture to the
Photograph by courtesy of World to Table.
its French name jarret de veau or the dish’s Italian name osso bucco and whether
prepared in Italy, or in France, this is a dish that must be cooked very, very
slowly to absorb all the flavors.
The cut for Jarret de Veau.
The marrowbone in the center will provide a great deal of
the flavor and texture.
Photograph by courtesy of Artizone.
meat along with the white wine, will have been braised together
for hours with the bone marrow adding its special magic. With a well-prepared osso
you encounter on the first bite a taste of the veal that will practically melt on your tongue;
the combined flavors of the other ingredients will providing a symphony ofcomplimentary tastes. Whether in France,
Italy or elsewhere well-trained chefs show their skills through a veal osso
bucco that keeps the customers returning..
veal osso bucco chefs may argue about the white wine used, how the vegetables
are prepared, how much garlic and parsley is to be added and more.However,I write as a diner, not as a chef,and when you taste the gravy that the dish has created youwill see how the chef has balanced the white
wine, veal stock, olive oil, onions and garlic with the flavor and texture of
the veal marrow.
serving of a jarret de veau may vary greatlyin size.A calf just weaned will
provide the softest meat; however, I prefer a slightly older animal that will
provide more taste and, of equal importance, a larger portion.In Italian, the name osso bucco just means a
bone with a hole, and that all that is left when you have been served a well-made
jarret de veau.
a French menu will translate jarret de veau into English as a veal knuckle,
which it is not.
France the cut called a jarret, the veal shank with the bone left in, is used for much more than the French version
of osso bucco.
A double serving of jarret de veau.... Rarely seen.
Jarret de Veau Confit 12 Heures au Vin Blanc et Romarin -A
veal shank slowly cooked for over 12 hours in white wine and rosemary.This menu listing calls the long cooking a
confit;and long cooking may create a
similar taste; however, it is not a confit; however, if the taste is great and the meat truly melts on your tongue ignore my comment,
de Boeuf. The
same cut as a jarret de veau but the meat is beef not veal.
Jarret de Bœuf
Fondant, Sauce Ravigote –On this menu
listing the beefshank has been cooked
so slowly that the chef says it is melting; if it is cooked slowly and well,for a long time, it should practically melt
on your tongue. The dish offered here is served with a Sauce Ravigote which is
a popular sauce, in France, for a dish like this; it has vinaigrette base thickenedwith added mustard, eggs, olive oil and
Jarret de Bœuf aux
Fruits Secs (Abricots et Pruneaux)- A
beef shank slowlycooked with dried
fruits, apricots and prunes.
menus may offer a jarret d’agneau, or anosso buco d'agneau. This is the same cut, but from a leg of lamb.
Braisé à l'Ail et au Romarin - Lamb shank slowly braised with garlic and
rosemary.Although this menu listing
does not mention the wine, when lamb shanks are braised like this, it is usually with a
Braisé et Pommes de Terre Façon Salardaise. Lamb shank slowly braised, and served with
potatoes prepared in the manner Sarlat, .Pommes de Terre Sarladaises are potatoes, thinly sliced, and fried in
duck fat while flavored with garlic and parsley. When served these potatoes
should be crisp on the outside and soft inside; at their best they are
exchangeable for the ambrosia of the gods. Nearly all dishes with Sarladaise in
the name will also have some connection to ducks and or geese. The town of
Sarlat isin the département
of Dordogne in Aquitaine andfamous for
its ducks, especially its duck foie gras . When you visit Sarlat will see
that for frying the preferred fat, should I say the only fat, is duck fat?
de Porc. – A pork shank.
Jarret de Porc Doré à
la Broche, Jus de Viande – A pork shank cooked on a spit until golden
and served with its natural cooking juices.
Jarret de Porc - A pork shank with the bone left in.
Here the pork shank is cooked like the traditional veal
Photograph courtesy ofLy. H.
Finally; on one strange French menu I saw a listing that offered an osso bucco de dinde,
a turkey osso bucco!That seems a long
way from what the creator, whoever, he or she was, intended. Probably we shall
not have to wait long before there is a vegetarian osso bucco, as well.