Remains of the day

[Recipe 1] TWO ROAST CHICKENS with HERBED VEGGIES
[Recipe 2] NASI GORENG (Indonesian fried rice) with leftover roast chicken

Excuse my OTT enthusing but these two meals are massive box tickers. Cheap? Yep! Easy? Yep! Tasty? Yep! Kid-friendly? Yeppity yep!
First up is classic roast chicken. Roasting your own chook is an absolute cinch, and it takes no extra time to cook two; allowing for planned-overs to use during the week. Feel free to brush the chickens with olive oil, but I’m from the Margaret Fulton school of cookery and prefer lashings of butter.
One of the best ways to use leftover chicken is in Nasi Goreng. I’m a Dutchie (born in Amersfoort) and have always loved Dutch-Indonesian meals such as bami and loempia. Nasi Goreng was our family favourite though, cooked up in an electric frying pan with deep-fried prawn crackers for scooping. My dad always added the traditional dollop of fiery sambal oelak, but nowadays I prefer a good squirt of sriracha. My parents’ secret ingredient was Conimex Nasi Goreng spice mix, made in the Netherlands and still available today. I’m not a huge fan of packaged spice mixes though and this one contains nasty palm oil and MSG. The spice paste recipe below is my copycat version!
Roasted belachan (dried shrimp paste) is essential for a proper Nasi Goreng. It smells like a dead animal, but adds the most pungent salty kick to fried rice. It’s readily available in Asian food stores, and large supermarkets including Woolworths in Australia.
Eet smakelijk
(enjoy your meal)!

Two roast chickens and herbed veggies. One Equals Two.Roast chicken and herbed veggies. One Equals Two.[Recipe 1] Two roast chickens with herbed veggies

Ingredients (serves 4 people for 2 meals):
2 free range chickens, 1.75 kilos (3.8 lb) each, rinsed and dried with kitchen paper
60 grams (2 oz/½ stick) butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small limes
6–8 chat potatoes, peeled, halved
2 large red (purple/Spanish) onions, peeled and quartered
4 small–medium carrots, peeled, cut into thirds
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), de-seeded, cut into eighths
2 zucchinis (courgettes), trimmed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme and/or rosemary, as preferred
Steamed green beans, to serve

Preheat oven to 190°C (370ºF).
Bring chickens to room temperature for half an hour, while you prepare the veggies.
Place the chickens on a rack in a large roasting pan. I use a cookie rack over a large, deep tray that came with my oven, but two smaller pans side by side will suffice.
Remove and discard any white blobby fat and large loose pieces of skin from around the chicken cavities. Brush the chickens all over with butter and season well with salt and pepper. Place a whole lime into each cavity, tie the drumsticks together with butchers twine and turn chickens breast-side down (ie. legs down, wings up).

Arrange the potato pieces around the chickens and drizzle with remaining butter.
Roasting stage 1 (50 mins): Roast for 50 minutes, tossing and basting the potatoes with the chicken juices after 25 minutes (or drizzle with a little olive oil if your chickens haven’t produced enough juice yet).
Roasting stage 2 (40 mins): Carefully remove tray from oven and turn the chickens breast-side up. Add onion, carrots, capsicum and zucchini to the pan. Baste chicken and vegetables with pan juices; and scatter veggies with herbs, salt and pepper. Return pan to the oven and roast for a further 40 minutes, gently tossing the vegetables after 20 minutes; until the chickens are golden brown, and juices run clear when the thick part of a thigh is pierced with a skewer. If juices run pink, return to the oven for a further ten minutes and test again.

Total cooking time is 1½ hours (see notes below).
Allow chickens to rest on a board, lightly covered with foil, for ten minutes.
Remove and discard limes. Cut one chicken into quarters and serve immediately, with roasted veggies and steamed green beans.
♦ After dinner, strip off and discard the skin from the remaining chicken, and remove all the meat. Chop or slice the meat and store in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

  • Roasting time will vary depending on the weight of the chicken. Cook for 25 minutes per 500g (1 lb).
  • 1 x 1.75 kilo chicken yields approx 4 cups chopped chicken meat – you’ll need 2 cups meat for Recipe 2.
  • Leftover roast chicken is fantastic stirred through Vietnamese style coleslaw. Use this recipe, replacing the beef with sliced chicken. Remaining cabbage can be used in Recipe 2 (see below)!
  • Leftover roast veggies and chicken are delicious in toasties with pesto and Swiss cheese; or in wraps with caramelised red onion jam, cheddar and rocket (arugula).

Nasi Goreng with leftover roast chicken. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 2] Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice)

Ingredients (serves 4, plus leftovers for lunch the next day):
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or peanut or vegetable oil if unavailable)
125g (4.5 oz) bacon, chopped
1 brown onion, finely diced
♦ 2 cups reserved roast chicken, chopped (see Recipe 1)
600g (1.3 lb) raw veggies (I use ¼ cabbage, shredded; 2 corn cobs, kernels removed; 2 carrots, grated; ¼ green capsicum, diced and ½ cup frozen peas, defrosted)
4 eggs
Cracked black pepper
To serve:
Lime wedges
Sriracha sauce
Pre-cooked prawn crackers (optional)
Nasi Goreng spice paste:
20g (.7 oz) roasted belachan (dried shrimp paste)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Kecap manis
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 teaspoons dried ground cumin

Prepare Nasi Goreng spice paste by pounding belachan, garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl and add other spice paste ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days until required.
Cook rice according to packet instructions, by boiling rather than absorption. Rinse with cold water, drain well and allow to cool completely, covered, in the fridge. Rice can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.
Heat oil in a large wok over a high heat, until just smoking. Add bacon and onion and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Add prepared Nasi Goreng spice paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add prepared vegetables and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the cooked, cooled rice to the wok with the reserved roast chicken. Toss gently for 2-3 minutes, until warmed through and well-coated in spice paste.
Meanwhile, fry the eggs in a non-stick frying pan until cooked to your liking.
Divide the Nasi Goreng amongst four bowls; reserving any leftovers for lunch the following day. Top each serving with a fried egg and scatter with pepper. Serve with lime wedges, sriracha sauce and prawn crackers.

  • Sriracha sauce, pre-cooked prawn crackers (krupuk), roasted belachan (dried shrimp paste) and kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) are all available at large supermarkets and Asian food stores. You can replace belachan with 2 teaspoons fish sauce if unavailable, but the overall flavour will be milder. 
  • Although my combination of veggies is recommended, particularly the cabbage, you can use other available vegetables to equal 600g (1.3 lb); including leek, celery, bean sprouts and mushrooms.
  • You can use leftover cooked cooled rice for this dish. 2 cups uncooked basmati rice yields about 6 cups of cooked rice. 
  • An ultra hot wok is imperative for perfect fried rice. If your wok is small and likely to be overloaded, you can cook the nasi goreng in two batches.
  • Leftover Nasi Goreng is excellent for lunch, reheated gently in a microwave. For a touch of freshness, scatter with chopped spring onions or sliced cucumber. You can also add a finely sliced omelette. My kids take warmed leftover Nasi Goreng in little thermoses to school (note: if your school has a nut-free policy, be sure to use coconut or vegetable oil for frying, rather than peanut oil).

It’s the veal thing

[Recipe 1] DUTCH VEAL ROLLS (blinde vinken) and BRAISED RED CABBAGE with APPLE (rode kool met appeltjes) transforms into
[Recipe 2] SWEDISH MEATBALLS with CRANBERRY and GOJI BERRY JAM
……………..
Reuban sandwich
“If it smells like someone let a wicked fart loose in your kitchen, you’re on the right track.”
I intended to make my own fermented sauerkraut for this post, but when I came across that particular comment whilst browsing food blogs, I chickened out. That, and reference to possible contamination by pesky microbes had me dishing up Braised red cabbage with apple (rode kool met appeltjes) instead. While not strictly sauerkraut as it’s not fermented; it comes pretty close in flavour. It’s my own take on my dad’s recipe – the cabbage is simmered in chicken stock with fresh apple, Dijon mustard and spices, and is quite delicious! You’ll find so many ways to use the leftovers during the week – this little picture shows our lunch at work on Thursday, photographed on a cutting mat (see tips/ingredients below the main recipe).
Braised red cabbage is the perfect accompaniment to Dutch veal rolls (blinde vinken). The name translates literally as ‘blind finches’, a classic quirky Dutchism. They’re lovely spiced logs of minced veal and pork, traditionally wrapped in paper-thin slice of veal, but I prefer to use pancetta. I also like to add grated apple (firm pear works well too). They’re simmered in stock and my boys LOVE them as they’re basically fancy sausages.
Cranberry and goji berry jam on sourdoughBy making double the quantity of Dutch veal roll mixture, you can serve up Swedish meatballs later in the week (or later in the month if you choose to freeze them)! Unsuspecting family members will have no idea this is the same mince mixture, rolled into balls. I’ve served them up Ikea-style (minus the horse meat); with mashed potatoes and home-made Cranberry and goji berry jam (I’d love to make Swedish lingonberry jam, but where on earth can one buy lingonberries in Australia)? I threw the goji berries in on a whim and they added a lovely tartness to the sauce. Goji berries are packed full of protein and vitamins, in fact they apparently contain 500 times more vitamin C than oranges! After much experimenting, I’ve found that simple is best with this jam. No need for vinegar, onion or wine. It’s gently sweetened with maple syrup and has a nice burst of zing from the ginger and lemon zest. Delicious! Recipe link is here. We spent 5 days at Apollo Bay Music Festival last week, and this jam went down a treat on sourdough smeared with White Castello cheese (pictured).
So, we didn’t miss the sauerkraut at all, but one day I’ll work up the courage to whip up a batch. Has anyone made it? If so I’d LOVE to know if it was a success, and if the resulting putrid-smelling kitchen was worth it.

Blinde vinken (Dutch veal rolls)[Recipe 1] Dutch veal rolls (blinde vinken) and braised red cabbage with apple (rode kool met appeltjes)

Ingredients for braised red cabbage with apple (makes 4 cups):
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red (purple/Spanish) onion, finely chopped
2 large green apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 small head red cabbage, shredded, inner core discarded
1¾ cups (435ml) store-bought or home-made chicken stock, plus extra ¼ cup if required
½ cup (125ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon marjoram

2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Ingredients for Dutch veal rolls (serves 4 for 2 meals):

4 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed, cut into pieces
½ cup (125ml) milk
500g (1 lb) minced (ground) humanely-farmed veal
500g (1 lb) minced (ground) free range pork
½ cup chopped parsley
1 small red (purple/Spanish) onion, very finely chopped
1 large green apple, peeled and grated

½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon marjoram
2 eggs, lightly whisked
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
100g (3.5 oz) thinly sliced pancetta
Olive oil, for frying, extra

1 cup (250ml) store-bought or home-made chicken stock, or veal stock
Pan-fried kipfler potatoes, to serve

For the braised red cabbage with apple (this can be made up to 3 days in advance):
Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Fry onion and apple for 5–8 minutes, until onion is soft and transparent and apple begins to turn golden brown.
Add mustard seeds. Cook for for 1-2 minutes. Add cabbage, stock, vinegar, mustard, cloves, marjoram and brown sugar. Simmer over a low–medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a splash more stock if it is drying out. Season.
Set aside until required. Braised red cabbage can be served cold or re-heated gently on the stovetop. It improves with age so is best made at least the day before.
For the Dutch veal rolls (these can be made up to 3 days in advance, or frozen):
Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes, and gently squeeze out.
Place minced meat, parsley, onion, apple, spices and eggs in a large bowl. Add the squeezed-out bread. Mix well and season.
Divide mixture in half (approx. 650g/1.4 lb), and reserve one portion for the Swedish meatballs.
Roll the remaining veal mixture into eight log shapes. Wrap each in pancetta.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frypan. Add veal rolls and gently fry until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cook in two batches if required, and return to the pan when cooked. Pour in stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 8–10 minutes. Turn the veal rolls over and simmer for a further 8 minutes.
Remove veal rolls from the pan and keep warm on a plate covered with foil. Bring pan juices to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Drain in a fine mesh sieve. Set aside strained juices and reheat when required.
Serve the veal rolls and pan juices with braised red cabbage and pan-fried kipflers or thickly-sliced rye bread.

  • Uncooked Dutch veal rolls can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Place baking paper between the layers. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture before cooking.
  • Braised red cabbage can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The flavour improves with time.
  • Braised red cabbage is fabulous in a Reuben-style sandwich (pictured in the intro text) with Edam cheese, pastrami and Dijonnaise (2 teaspoons Dijon mustard mixed with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise). 
  • Braised red cabbage is also delicious served with pork schnitzels, Slow-cooked beef brisket, Pulled pork or served up Dutch-style, nestled on a bed of endive and potato mash with a big fat rookwust sausage resting on top (my Dad’s specialty).
  • If you don’t have the time or inclination, you can buy ‘kapusta czerwona’ (braised Polish red cabbage) by the jar at European delicatessens – the flavour is very similar to Dutch braised cabbage. Warm gently on the stove-top.

Swedish meatballs (Ikea style)

[Recipe 2] Swedish meatballs with cranberry and goji berry jam

Ingredients (serves 4):
Half quantity (approx. 650g/1.4 lb) reserved Dutch veal roll mixture
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
2 cups store-bought or home-made chicken stock
150ml (5 fl oz) cream (I use light cooking cream)
Creamy parmesan mashed potatoes, to serve
Cranberry and goji berry jam, to serve

Steamed green beans, to serve
Chopped fresh dill, to serve

Roll mixture into 20–25 walnut-sized balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes if time permits.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frypan. Add meatballs and brown well on all sides, about 8 minutes. Cook in two batches, transferring to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Add flour to pan, and cook, stirring for about one minute. Gradually pour in stock and cream and bring to the boil. Return meatballs to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through.
Serve meatballs and their sauce with Creamy parmesan mashed potatoes and Cranberry and goji berry jam, with a side of steamed green beans. Scatter with chopped dill.

  • Meatballs can be frozen, raw, for up to 3 months. Place baking paper between the layers. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture before cooking.
  • If you don’t have a deep-sided non-stick pan; cook the meatballs in a shallow-sided non-stick pan first; and transfer them to a deeper pan for cooking in the sauce.
  • The Cranberry and goji berry jam is beautiful served with sourdough bread, spread thickly with White Castello cheese (pictured in the intro text).
  • Dried wild goji berries are available from health food stores or online from Loving Earth.
  • I always buy 300ml (10 fl oz) tubs of cream, and freeze the leftover 150ml (5 fl oz) cream in its tub. Nearly all my recipes that contain cream use 150ml. Allow the cream to defrost in the fridge overnight and use it for this recipe again or for:
    Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart or
    Chicken and leek pot pie or
    Creamy pumpkin fettuccine with toasted walnuts or
    Sticky date pudding with toasted hazelnuts or
    Roasted red capsicum and fresh herb tart

Slowly does it

[Recipe 1] HUTSPOT met KLAPSTUK (DUTCH MASH with SLOW-COOKED BRISKET) transforms into
[Recipe 2] BEEF BRISKET SLIDERS with RUSSIAN POTATO SALAD

……………..
One of my fave childhood meals was Hutspot met Klapstuk, which translates literally as ‘hotch potch with slap piece’ (so charmingly Dutch)! Hutspot is a messy mash of potato, carrot and onion. It ain’t pretty (Google ‘hutspot photos’ and face the horror), but it is delicious! Both my Oma (grandma) in Holland and my mum made it often. Oma had a special electric heated contraption that would sit in the middle of the table, where she would place the hutspot, beef and gravy in serving pots so we could help ourselves.
Klapstuk actually refers to beef cut from the rib but I prefer brisket as it’s so juicy and flavoursome (I still refer to it as klapstuk though, because it’s just such an excellent word).
The brisket needs a long slow cook. Everything is bunged in the pot, so it’s a cinch to throw together, especially if you have a serve of my easy home-made BBQ sauce waiting in your freezer. This forms the flavour base for the stewing liquid – admittedly a little more Texas-style than traditional Dutch, but so tasty. The BBQ sauce freezes well and it makes a large quantity. It’s perfect for pulled pork too.
I like to cook the brisket the day before it’s required. By resting it in the fridge overnight, and removing the firm layer of fat the next morning, it can simply be re-heated when required. I recommend cooking it on a Sunday, so dinner for Monday and Wednesday is sorted.
Reserve half the cooked brisket as planned-overs, and you can whip up a batch of brisket sliders, stuffed with creamy Russian potato salad and sliced gherkins. Delicious! Yep, I’ve unashamedly leaped onto the slider craze. They’re so ace, and so kid-friendly; and I feel a bit like Cher in Moonstruck serving up mini food for dinner. Enjoy!

Slow-cooked brisket and Dutch mash[Recipe 1] Hutspot met klapstuk (Dutch mash with slow-cooked brisket)

Ingredients for the slow-cooked beef brisket (serves 4 for 2 meals):
1.75 kilo (3.8 lb) beef brisket
1 cup home-made BBQ sauce
1 cup beef stock
1 cup water
Ingredients for the Dutch mash (serves 4):
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
750g (1½ lb) brown onions (4 medium), peeled and finely chopped

1 kilo (2 lb) potatoes (4 large), peeled and chopped
500g (1 lb) carrots (6 medium), peeled and finely chopped into small pieces
500g (1 lb) orange sweet potato (1 large), peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 150°C (300ºF).
Place beef into a small, close-fitting, ovenproof pot. You may need to cut the meat in half. Mix home-made BBQ sauce, stock and water together and pour over the beef until well-covered. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake, covered, for approximately 3 hours; until the beef is very tender. Turn the beef over once, half-way through the cooking process. Test to see whether beef is tender after 3 hours. It should be easy to break apart with tongs. If not, return to the oven for a further 30 minutes and check again.
Remove pot from the oven and set it on a board to cool slightly, for an hour. Place in the fridge overnight.
The next day, scrape the thin layer of fat from the top and discard. Remove the brisket from the pot and divide into two portions. Return one portion to the cooking pot for tonight’s dinner.
Reserve the other half of the cooked brisket (about 2 cups/500g/1 lb) and ½ cup of the cooking juices for the Beef brisket sliders with Russian potato salad.
For tonight’s dinner, place the pot with beef and juices on the stove top. Simmer over a low heat, covered, stirring often, for 20–30 minutes, until brisket has softened and is warmed through.
To make the Dutch mash (hutspot): heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots and sweet potato. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Drain. Mash, until combined and lumpy (Dutch mash should be rustic and not too smooth). Season.
The mash can be re-warmed in its pot when the beef is ready to serve.
To serve, pile a mound of hutspot onto each serving plate. Make an indentation (‘kuiltje’) in the top of the Dutch mash, ladle some of the pan juices into the kuiltje and place lightly-shredded brisket on top with a splash more of the juices. If liked, you can blend the remaining pan juices with a stick blender, and pour into a gravy jug. Serve and enjoy.

  • Reserved slow-cooked brisket can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
  • For 2 kilo (4 lb) of brisket, the cooking time should be increased to 3½ hours.

Beef brisket sliders with Russian salad

[Recipe 2] Beef brisket sliders with Russian salad

Ingredients (serves 4):
12 mini bread rolls
2 cups (500g/1 lb) reserved cooked beef brisket, shredded; + ½ cup pan juices
Russian potato salad, to serve
12 dill gherkins, halved (or 24 whole small cornichons)

Split the mini bread rolls lengthways.
♦ Lightly warm the reserved slow-cooked beef brisket. This can be done in the microwave. Drizzle with the reserved pan juices, cover with cling film (or a lid), and microwave on high for 1–2 minutes. Don’t make it too hot! Stuff the mini breadrolls with the warmed brisket. Top with Russian potato salad and sliced gherkins. Serve immediately.

  • Fussy kid tip: My 5-year old isn’t too keen on Russian salad so I serve his sliders with sliced avocado, grated carrot and tomato sauce (ketchup).
  • I buy my mini bread rolls from Breadtop.

The frying Dutchman

[Recipe 1] VEAL OSSO BUCO transforms into
[Recipe 2] DUTCH VEAL CROQUETTES
……………..
A couple of weeks ago, on the road to Bendigo for my mum’s 70th birthday with a car-load of fellow Dutch folks, we passed a hand-painted sign on the side of the Calder highway and a collective shriek rang out in the car: ‘DUTCH KROKETS $5’.
I skidded to a halt and we just about bolted inside. Jos and Coby Jansen, the proprietors of the tiny Junction Hotel (built in 1874) in Ravenswood, have a menu of house-made Dutch specialities including poffertjes (tiny pancakes), uitsmijters (soft bread, ham and a fried egg) and Krokets.
Dutch veal croquettes (Hollandse kalfs kroketten) are one of my favourite Dutch fast-food treats. My dad often cranked up the deep fryer to make a batch for lunch. There are food vans all over Holland selling the ubiquitous Broodje Kroket – a soft white roll stuffed with French mustard and a crunchy deep-fried log, containing the most delicious molten, creamy, meaty filling. In Amsterdam krokets can be bought warm from little vending machines, nestled individually on squares of kitchen paper.
Coby from the Junction Hotel was lovely enough to share her kroket recipe with me; which I’ve modified slightly to make for a more chunky, meaty filling. Also, instead of making them from scratch, I first made a beautiful (even if I do say so myself) Veal Osso Buco, which we scoffed for dinner with a mound of creamy parmesan mashed potatoes. The addition of orange zest to the Osso Buco intensifies the flavour and cuts through the richness, alleviating the need for a zesty accompaniment like gremolata.
By saving a couple of chunks of the Osso Buco, (see the orange diamonds in the recipe for details); you can whip up a batch of Dutch veal croquettes easily. Oh my gawd they’re so good. The only tricky bit is the double-breading but this is important for the crisp-factor, and also to ensure they don’t split open during cooking.
Eet smakelijk iedereen (eat well everyone)!

Dutch krokets sign

Veal Osso Buco[Recipe 1] Veal Osso Buco

Ingredients (serves 4 for 2 meals):
1½ kilos (3 lb) humanely-farmed veal shanks, osso buco-style (cut into thick 2½ cm/1-inch slices)
3 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
2 brown onions, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 sticks celery, thinly sliced
75g (2½ oz) bacon, fat removed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) red wine
400g (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1½ cups (375ml) beef stock
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
Salt and freshly-cracked pepper
Creamy parmesan mashed potatoes, to serve
Chopped flat-leaf parsley to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Place veal shank pieces and flour in a large plastic bag. Toss to coat, and shake off excess flour.
Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook veal in batches (adding a splash more oil when required) for 3 minutes each side until well-browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add onion, carrot, celery and bacon to the pot, and 1 tablespoon more oil if required. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes, uncovered, stirring regularly. Return veal to the pot. Add wine, bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer vegetables, veal and juices to a large oven-proof, flame-proof pot.
Combine tomatoes, stock, orange zest, oregano and tomato paste. Pour over veal and vegetables. Season.
Cover tightly with foil (or a lid, with foil underneath) and cook in pre-heated oven for 1½ hours. Test to see whether veal is tender. If not, return to the oven for a further 15 minutes and check again. The meat should be falling off the bones.
If there is a bit too much liquid, place pan on the stove-top and simmer, uncovered, for a further ten minutes.
Reserve 2–3 cooked veal pieces for the Dutch veal croquettes. You’ll need about 1½ cups/350g (¾ lb) of actual meat, so roughly break it away from the bones and plonk it in a cup (or weigh it) to make sure you reserve enough!
Serve osso buco on a bed of creamy parmesan mashed potatoes, scattered with parsley.

  • Osso Buco can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and should be used within three days; or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Leftover pan juices from stews like this can be blended and turned into a lovely rich soup for lunch. Add a bit of leftover shredded meat and vegie chunks after blending.
  • When using store-bought stock, I love Moredough Kitchens variety (available from independent food stores, delis and butchers all over Australia). It’s real stock, sealed in a pouch, with nothing yucky added. Definitely worth the expense. The veal stock is fab. And no, they didn’t pay me for my testimonial! I find supermarket chicken stock is mostly fine (I prefer Campbells), but supermarket beef stock is too overpowering and caramel-ish in a dish like osso buco. Moredough stock has a more subtle, home-made flavour.

Dutch veal croquettes

[Recipe 2] Dutch veal croquettes (Hollandse kalfs kroketten)

Ingredients (serves 4, makes 12 croquettes):
60 grams (2 oz/½ stick) butter
½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 eschalot (shallot/scallion), finely chopped
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock, store-bought or home-made
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 sachet (10g/3 teaspoons) powdered gelatin*
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2–4 pieces reserved veal osso buco, finely chopped (about 1½ cups/350g/¾ lb)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, very finely chopped
Vegetable or sunflower oil for deep-frying
French mustard, to serve
Coating:
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour extra, for dusting (plus extra if required)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry breadcrumbs

Make a roux by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Gently stir fry the eschalot until soft. Gradually stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until a paste forms.
Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the stock. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring thoroughly, until the sauce is smooth and thick.
Add gelatin, nutmeg and mustard to the saucepan, stirring.
Add reserved, chopped Veal Osso Buco.
Season, and stir through parsley. Mix together thoroughly then transfer to a container with a lid and allow to cool completely, in the fridge.
Roll about 12 little sausage-shaped logs from the mixture, each about 3½cm (1½-inch) thick and about 7½cm (3-inch) long.
Double-coat the croquettes. Dredge each croquette in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into egg and coat well with the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate the croquettes for at least 15 minutes to help the coating adhere. Repeat the entire coating process so that each croquette gets two coats of flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry the croquettes in two batches at 180°C (350ºF) for approximately 3 minutes, until golden brown. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test whether the oil is ready by dropping a few breadcrumb lumps in the pot. They should sizzle as soon as they hit the oil.
Drain croquettes on kitchen paper and serve immediately, slathered with French mustard.

  • Dutch veal croquettes can be frozen, uncooked. Deep-fry from frozen for 4 minutes.
  • Croquettes are best eaten immediately. They don’t stand up to re-heating in the oven as they lose their beautiful crispiness. Believe me, I’ve tried!
  • Croquettes are excellent for a party. Double the quantity and make bite-sized croquette balls (‘bitterballen’ in Dutch). Deep-fry for 2–3 minutes, and serve on toothpicks with French mustard.
  • I’ve used powdered gelatin as it’s more readily available (and it removes the temptation for me to visit the Essential Ingredient where I always manage to empty my wallet). I reckon it’s worth using gelatin leaves when making delicate desserts like panna cotta, but for rustic croquettes, powdered gelatine is absolutely fine. If you insist on using gelatin leaves though, 1 sachet (8g/3 teaspoons) powdered gelatin is roughly equivalent to four gelatin leaves.