Happy Halloween!

WINE: Paolo Conterno ‘Bric’ Barolo, Italy

WITH: The richest food Northern Italy has to offer

WHY: If it grows together, it goes together

Halloween is here, and with the autumn night’s drawing in and darkness enveloping us by 4pm it’s just the right time of year to embrace all those delicious slow cooked meals. If you’re not out trick or treating tonight, then why not have a stab at making this classic Italian dish…

Today’s cut of choice was oxtail made in the classic Lombardy style: Osso Bucco. Thankfully slow-cooked dishes lend themselves to cheaper cuts of meat, and after hours of cooking, they end up achingly tender and fall apart.

Saffron straight from the fields of Slovakia, picked by my granddad

Saffron straight from the fields of Slovakia, picked by my granddad

Although traditionally this is should be made with veal shank, the oxtail is a perfect stand in – and easier to get your hands on too. Served up alongside a saffron stuffed risotto Milanese it’s hearty, stodgy and very, very tasty. What more could you want?

Ah yes, a good bottle of the hard stuff to go alongside it.

With so much protein and richness in this dish coming from both the risotto, and the bone marrow it needs a big wine to stand up to it. Barolo makes a great combination with this dish as it was designed to work alongside the rich food of Piedmont, so it can certainly stand up to Lombardy’s richest foods too.

It has a nice refreshing acidity which is rare in reds that helps to cut through the richness, and wash it down nicely.


Recipes are courtesy of Two Greedy Italians, and can be found here.