Osso Buco

This is a classic dish from Milan, veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and stock, which form a thick, rich sauce. Topped with a zesty mixture called “gremolata” which top the shanks just before serving.

An excellent accompaniment is risotto Milanese, made with rice, Parmesan cheese and saffron. I used orzo instead of rice in my preparation.

Osso Buco, I even love just saying the name. Osso Buco or ‘hollow bone’ —  it’s northern Italian name,  is a flavorful marrow-filled shank that is sawed into crosscuts of meat from the front (foreshanks) or hind (hindshanks) legs. It is especially good for braising or stews. Here, I decided to make a stew.

Wine pairing – A nice Pinot Noir

Veal Osso Buco with Saffron Orzo and Pearl Onions

We have our Veal Shanks–choose thick-cut veal shanks

All nicely tied with kitchen twine to hold the meat to the center bone while cooking. I slit the thin membrane surrounding the meat, as it may shrink while searing and distort the shape of the meat

Dredged in seasoned flour, let the browning begin!

Nicely browned, resting while we get the vegetables going

Saute carrots, celery, onion, stirring occasionally until softened and slightly browned

In goes a bundle of fresh thyme and rosemary, a bouquet garni of bay leaves, and fresh garlic–continue to cook stirring as we go

Tomato paste added

I added white wine and let it simmer down a bit. Generally the wine is added before this stage, to deglaze after the veggies were softened, but this worked out as well

Our veal shanks have been patiently awaiting their return to the dutch oven

Top with tomatoes. Generally Italian plum tomatoes (canned or fresh–fresh is always better) are used. I used two cans of stewed tomatoes that I simmered in a small pot with fresh chopped garlic and cracked black pepper, and about a tsp of sugar (cuts the acidity). I also smashed them with a potato masher while they were simmering just to break them down a tad more

And into our awaiting 350 oven we go for 2 1/2 hours

In the mean-time, we’ll zest our lemon and orange to make the Gremolata. Be careful not to include the bitter white pith beneath the peel

Finely chop fresh parsley and garlic with the lemon and orange zest

And there we have it–Veal Osso Buco and Saffron Orzo with Pearl Onions. The Gremolata is added just before serving. I cooked the orzo as usual, but added a hefty pinch of saffron while doing so, which gave the orzo a wonderful yellow color. Added saffron and chopped parsley for a lite garnish

I also had some Northern White Beans on hand

Let us not forget that prize inside– the tasty marrow

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Justice Stewart
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 14:34:41

    I love it!!!


  2. Chica Andaluza
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 16:51:11

    Gorgeous recipe and fantastic step by step photos!


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