Osso Buco - Veal Shanks Braised with Vegetables, White Wine and Broth
Preparing this osso buco recipe is easy with a few tips and suggestions. The night before we brought our youngest daughter home from the NICU, some friends invited my wife and me over for a "last night out for a while" dinner and served one of my favorite meals, Osso buco, Ossobuco (AW-soh BOO-koh).
I so thoroughly enjoyed the meal I just had to share one of my favorite recipes found a while back in a great cooking magazine, Cuisine.
I can't remember where or when I first tasted Osso buco, but it is one of the most flavorful dishes I've enjoyed serving. It's not a complicated recipe, but there is a lot of prep, so give yourself time to enjoy getting into it.
This recipe calls for bouquet garni that can be described as herbs wrapped in something and added to a braise for flavoring. A classic French bouquet garni would be wrapped in leek leaves, but I typically use cheesecloth.
Although no traditional herbs are used for bouquet garni, I like fresh parsley, thyme, and a bay leaf or two. But depending on the recipe, I might add peppercorns, rosemary, tarragon, and/or fresh basil.
Osso Buco Recipe
- 6 veal shanks 2 inches thick
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup butter unsalted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ cups yellow onion chopped
- ½ cup carrot chopped
- ½ cup celery sliced
- 2 teaspoon garlic chopped
- 3 anchovy fillets or 3 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups fresh tomato pulp or diced tomatoes
- Bouquet Garni
- Chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Then, get the tomatoes prepped and put together the Bouquet Garni.
- For the gremoloda, finely chop the parsley and lemon zest and then mince the garlic.
- Tie the shanks with some kitchen string, so they don't fall apart while cooking and then season both sides with salt & pepper.
- Next, prepare your tomato pulp by slicing the tomatoes in half and squeezing the seeds. Using a course grater, remove and reserve the pulp while discarding the skin. ( I used some fresh tomato sauce I recently made from peeled and seeded tomatoes, which worked great.)
- Put the bouquet garni ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth, bundle, and tie with a piece of kitchen string. My wife prepped the vegetables in our food processor, saving time and energy. I made the Gremolata in my food processor as well to save time.
- Start the cooking process by heating the butter and oil over medium heat in a large pan that you can put in the oven. ( I used my Caphalon 10-inch frying pan) While the butter and oil are heating up, dredge the veal shanks in flour and then add to the pan. To get better browning, don't move them around in the pan.
- If your shanks were as large as mine, you might have to cook three at a time. After about 5 minutes, turn and brown the other side. When done browning, remove, set aside on a plate, and brown the remaining shanks. When all the shanks are browned, remove and set aside. Preheat your oven to 325°.
- Turn down the heat on your stove to medium and add the onion, carrot, and celery to the same pan you browned the shanks in. Sauté until the onion caramelizes. (I found I needed to add a touch of olive oil at this point because the pan was dry.) Next, add the garlic and anchovy, and sauté until you smell the garlic cooking.
- Add wine, deglaze the pan, and reduce until the wine is almost all cooked off. Add the chicken stock and tomato pulp. If you have room for all the shanks, add the bouquet garni and veal shanks and bring them to a boil. I didn't have room for all the shanks in my pan, so I brought the ingredients to a boil and then transferred them to a large casserole pan, added the shanks and bouquet garni, and covered it with a tight-fitting lid.
- Transfer your covered pan to the oven and roast. Baste the shanks with the sauce forming in the pan every 30 minutes. After cooking for about an hour, flip each shank over and cook on the other side for another hour. If you notice the sauce in the pan begins to boil, turn down the heat.
- When the shanks are finished braising, remove and place them on a hot serving platter, remove the kitchen string and keep the shanks warm. Next, remove and throw out the bouquet garni. If you have one, the recipe calls for using a food mill to process the sauce in a bowl. I used my hand blender right in the pan, but you can also use a regular blender or a food processor to make the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- On a warm plate, add your side dishes, then a shank and sauce, top with gremolata, and serve. This is a delicious recipe and well worth the effort. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.