Editor's Note: Osso buco is a traditional Italian recipe for braised veal shank that originated in Milan during the 19th century. It is often served in a brown broth with vegetables - in this case, onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. A garlicky gremolata perfectly sets off the rest of the flavors in this osso buco recipe. It does take a few hours to prepare, but the tender veal and savory sauce will be well worth it. If you've been looking for veal recipes that are a hit every time, this age-old classic is certainly one of them.
Cooking MethodBraising, Sauteeing
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe CourseMain Course
Taste and TextureHerby, Meaty, Savory
- 6 veal hind shanks, sawed by the butcher into 2-inch-thick pieces
- 1 veal foreshank, sawed into 2-inch-thick pieces, optional (see Note)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup (about 1 pound) ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or canned Italian-style tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium canned
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced orange zest
- 1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Tie the veal shanks vertically with kitchen string so the meat will not fall away from the bone during cooking time. (No need to tie the foreshank pieces, if using.) Season with salt and pepper, then toss liberally with the flour, and dust off the excess.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and heat the oil over medium heat. In uncrowded batches, brown the shanks on both sides for about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the sauté pan and sauté for about 10 minutes, allowing them to brown slightly. Transfer the vegetables to the casserole. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the browned bits that have adhered to the pan.
Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Pour into the casserole and add the garlic, bay leaves, and parsley. Cover and bake for 1½ hours, or when the shanks are fork tender.
Prepare the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, cover, and set aside. Remove the shanks from the casserole. Degrease the cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the gremolata.
Cut away the string from the shanks and divide the meat among 6 warm dinner plates. Spoon on some of the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining gremolata.
For a richer and more gelatinous sauce, brown the optional foreshank along with the hind shanks and cook in the sauce. There won’t be much meat, but it will still be delicious.
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1997 Christopher Idone