Recipes from the slow food universe

Slow food is more about the choice of ingredients and your patience in the kitchen than the recipes... Though, for those of you willing to reconquer your own time, here are a few not-to-be-botched-quickly suggestions:

Osso bucco

Here is a recipe which relies on slow cooking to become infused with flavour - and for the meat to melt in your mouth.

Illustration: painting by Pietro Longhi, copyright free
An early example of the Slow Food attitude? A young Italian serenades a woman who has just finished making polenta

Ingredients (to serve 2):

1 tbs olive oil, 4 (about 1kg) veal osso bucco, 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped, 1 garlic clove, crushed, 200g can chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine, 1/2 tbs tomato paste 

1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 2 tsp shredded lemon rind 

Creamy parmesan polenta:
2 cups (1/2L) chicken stock, 1/2 cup (80g) polenta (cornmeal), 1/4 cup (75ml) thin cream, 1/4 cup (20g) finely grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 140°C. Heat the oil in a casserole pan over a high heat. Add the veal and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until brown. Watch the veal while cooking and think of how good it is going to taste. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Return the veal to the pan with the tomatoes and tomato paste, add only half of the wine and drink the other half, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Sing along.

Cook in a preheated oven, covered, turning occasionally, for 2 hours or until the veal is falling off the bone. Dance in the kitchen, taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the gremolata, combine parsley, garlic and lemon in a small bowl. Daydream until it is time to make the polenta.

To make the polenta, bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. While stirring with a whisk, gradually pour in the polenta and stir continually. Look at the sky. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until polenta is tender. Smile. Remove from heat. Light candles. Add the cream and parmesan and stir to combine. Taste, like it, and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon polenta among serving bowls. Top with osso bucco and sprinkle with gremolata to serve. Eat with friends.

Candied fruit

Beware, this is a really slow recipe. Some fruits can be candied quicker, but this is the way to do it right, thoroughly, and even with very delicate fruits. You will need sugar, water and fruit (e.g. oranges). Choose good, natural products, wash them, and make tiny holes with a needle through their peel.

Photo: copyright free
This is how your flat will look if you follow our instructions...

Place the fruit in a saucepan with enough water to cover and set on a medium heat. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Not enough time to make the fruit mushy but enough time to break down the cell walls so the sugar will penetrate the cranberries easily over the next couple of weeks. Strain and keep the juice aside.

For every kilogram of fruit that you just cooked place 1 cup of liquid in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and dissolve 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Pour this sugar mixture over the fruit. The fruit should be spread out in one single layer, and at best will occupy your whole kitchen space and be smelled through the whole house. Leave it to set at room temperature for 24 hours. It should already give you sugary and fruity dreams.

On the second day, strain off your syrup and place it in a saucepan. Heat and dissolve 1/4 of additional sugar to the syrup and cook until it reaches a hard boil and all the sugar is dissolved. Cover the fruits with this new syrup and leave for another 24 hours. Eat a piece of fruit each time you go through the kitchen. Repeat this process for days 3,4,5,6, and 7.

On day 8, repeat the heating and sugaring process, but this time leave the fruits in the syrup, allow the mixture to reach a boil then place the fruit and syrup back in their container for 48 hours. Repeat this process again on day 10 and then leave set for 4 days before moving onto the next step. At this point, you should have freed some room in your kitchen by eating part of your fruit during the process. We advise using it to write poetry on a piece of paper while looking at your fruits.

On day 14 your syrup will have the consistency and often the colour of honey. Drain your fruit in a colander saving the syrup and setting it aside. When the fruit is completely drained, dry it for 2-3 days in a warm, dry place or in your oven at its lowest setting with the door held ajar. Stir the fruit on occasion to ensure a complete and thorough drying of the fruit.

NEXT ISSUE 01.04.2018