Osso Buco is braised veal shank. The Italian word “ossubuco” translates to “holed bone”. This preparation results in extremely tender meat. It literally falls off the bone. (I had to do a bit of reassembling for the photograph!)
Until tonight, my only experience with osso buco was a bite I had of someone else’s dinner recently. My husband suggested I try making it some time, and when we saw the veal shanks at the butcher I knew that day would be soon.
I looked around for some various methods on how to prepare the shanks I bought. This recipe is based largely on a recipe I found at wikibooks.org. I modified it to use the ingredients I had on hand. Don’t be frightened by the anchovy paste. I promise you it won’t make the meat taste fishy, but it greatly enhances the flavor!
Serve this with rice or risotto. Oh, and don’t bother putting out knives. You won’t need them.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 3 ribs celery with leaves, chopped fine
- 1 medium carrot, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 strips lemon peel, about 1/4-inch wide
- 2 large veal shanks
- flour for dusting
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons beef demi-glace
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- Fresh ground pepper
- Sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Optionally, tie the shanks around the middle with kitchen twine; this will keep them from falling apart during cooking.
- Choose a heavy, covered roasting pan or Dutch oven which will just accommodate the veal shanks in one layer. Put the butter, 3 tablespoons of the oil, the onions, celery and carrots in the pan and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables have wilted, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon peel and sauté until they’re fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet until it is near the smoking point. Lightly flour the veal shanks and slip them into the oil. Richly brown the shanks on both of the cut sides, then place them in the roasting pan on top of the vegetables.
- Place the wine in the skillet and boil until reduced by one-half, scraping up any brown residue. Pour this over the veal shanks.
- Add the water to the skillet and bring to a boil, whisking in the demi-glace and anchovy paste. Add this to the veal shanks, along with the herbs, several grindings of pepper, and a pinch of salt. The liquid should cover 3/4 of the shanks. If not, add extra water. (I added an additional 2 cups.)
- Bring the pot to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 2 hours, turning and basting the shanks every 1/2 hour. If you notice that the cooking liquids have nearly evaporated, add hot water, about 1/2 cup at a time. The veal is done when it is fork tender and falling from the bone.
- Transfer the shanks to a platter, remove the strings, and cover to keep warm. If the sauce seems watery, as is probable, place the pan on the stove top over high heat and reduce the cooking liquid until the sauce has a thick, creamy consistency. Pour the sauce over the shanks and serve.
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