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RBR Tailgating: Osso Buco for the Bye Week

In which a Faustian bargain is considered, and reluctantly accepted.

"You are aware of only one unrest;
Oh, never learn to know the other!
Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast,
And one is striving to forsake its brother."

With no Alabama game to focus on, our attention must fall to that contest that most affects our beloved Crimson Tide. Who do we favor over whom?

The immediate temptation is to cry "F AU," at the top of our keyboards and damn them to the depths so richly deserved. But as they go, so do we, at least when considering the fate of their opponent. We need an Ole Miss loss.

"I see my discourse leaves you cold;
Dear kids, I do not take offense;
Recall: the Devil, he is old,
Grow old yourselves, and he'll make sense!"

The enemy of my enemy can still be my enemy as self interest redefines our vision of victory. Maybe two can win?

I am going to have so much trouble rooting for Auburn over Ole Miss, and I understand those who might suggest that we couch our desires for a later contest. Damn Auburn for now and bank on Fournette or the Egg Bowl to do the Rebears in, their argument goes. I am your ideological brethren to a point.

Ideally, we would see F AU lose every game. But we need Ole Miss to lose and there are few opportunities for that to happen. It's a horrible predicament, but such is life. I am, for the very short term, a fan of high school offense. You should be too.

Blame the refs for not flagging illegal linemen downfield, the fates for letting that tipped ball fall where it did, or ourselves for unforced turnovers. It makes no difference why we are where we are.

"Did we force ourselves on you, or you on us?"

We win out, we have a chance. We win out and Ole Miss loses another game, we are a shoo in for the playoffs.

Pretend, if you will, that API takes the game. Are you really upset that Ole Miss drops an SEC game and sets us up for a no reservations bid for the playoffs? I suspect not. Close your eyes and think of Alabama.

In any case, a bye week deserves relaxation at home. Roman style Osso Buco lets you get things going pre-game, ignore the cooking for an hour or so while you watch football, and indulge around the half.

For those wondering what connection this recipe has to this week's match up, there is none, but then again there is no match up for us this week. My sister and her husband gave me a new cookbook for my birthday. This recipe looked good.

Roman Style Osso Buco

2 Osso Buco

Flour for dusting

Olive Oil

1 Carrot, diced

1 Celery Stalk, diced

½ Onion, diced

3 Garlic Cloves, smashed

1 cup White Wine, see instructions

1 cup Vegetable or Chicken Stock, see instructions

2 tbsps. Tomato Paste

1 Bay Leaf

1 Sprig Rosemary

2 Anchovy filets

Salt & Pepper

Floured Veal

Salt and pepper the veal, dust in flour, and lightly fry at medium heat in some oil for a few minutes a side until nicely browned.  Remove and set aside.


Sweat the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until soft. Add wine, stock, rosemary, and bay leaf. Add tomato paste, anchovies, and bring to a boil, reduce for five or so minutes. Bury the meat in the liquid, adding a 50/50 mix of wine and stock if needed to completely submerge the meat and put in oven preheated to 350˚ for 1 to ½ hours. It's ready when the meat easily pulls off the bone.

For those who balk at the idea of anchovies, a little bit in a stew or braise adds richness rather than a fishy flavor and the filet itself completely dissolves into the liquid. It's very similar to adding marrow and a nice little trick to have in your arsenal.

I served it with olive mashed potatoes. A predominance of Italian cookbooks (at least among those that I own) suggest boiling potatoes with the skin on. When soft enough to poke all the way through with a skewer with no resistance (I used a chop stick) peel and mash adding cream and butter until you get a desired consistency, adding chopped olives at the end.

Final Plate

For our players, this week is a rest. For us, it is a conflict of passions. At best I can offer a path to a happy lunch. Roll Tide and ... go F AU. Have mercy on our souls.