Cast Iron

Thanksgiving Osso Buco

October 21, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

What to make on Thanksgiving when turkey is a bit too much, when you are planning a romantic dinner for two, when your friends do not like white meat, or simply when you are up for something a little bit more adventurous than just a good old roasted bird. This is a dish that preserves the spirit of the Thanksgiving meal, without really having to do the entire thing. —QueenSashy

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: QueenSashy is a data scientist by day, James Beard-award nominated food blogger by night.
WHAT: An osso buco that's spread its wings.
HOW: Brown turkey legs in olive oil, then tuck them into a casserole dish with carrots, apricots, cranberries, and all sorts of fall spices, and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Serve warm—with lots of sauce spooned over top.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is one of those dishes that is simple to prepare and rewards your (minimal) efforts by filling the house with appetizing, homey smells as it cooks. We served it over couscous which was a perfect accompaniment to the studded bits of sweetness from the apricots and cranberries. —The Editors

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds turkey drumsticks, cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces (ask your butcher to do it unless you have a chain saw, or like to suffer)
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 8 diced Turkish apricots
  • 16 dried cranberries, halved
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large cast iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the turkey pieces with salt and pepper and brown them nicely, about two minutes per side.
  3. Remove the turkey from the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, until the onion is very soft and slightly caramelized, for about five minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the carrots and cook for another five minutes. Stir in the apricots, cranberries, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cider. Place the turkey pieces back into the casserole, coat with the sauce, and bring to simmer.
  4. Cover the casserole with a lid and put it in the oven. Cook until the meat is very tender and begins to fall of the bones, for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (If it becomes dry during cooking, feel free to add a bit more liquid.)
  5. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve warm with mashed potatoes and the sauce spooned on top.

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Review
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.