Osso Buco

is a regional dish from Piedmont, Italy. Osso buco (also spelled osso bucco) translates literally to "bone hole", a reference to the marrow which gives the dish its distinctive flavor and body. Traditionally, veal shanks are used.  This dish is also very good, made in the same way, with lamb shanks.  Osso Buco is traditionally served with risotto.

4 pieces veal shank with bone, 3 inches thick
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS butter

1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 TBS fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup tomatoes, chopped (1/2 can)
2 cups chicken stock

grated rind of 1/2 lemon
grated rind of 1/2 orange
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Wash the shanks and tie butcher's twine tightly around the middle of each shank.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.   Dredge the shanks in flour and shake off any excess. In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, sear the shanks on all sides in olive oil and butter over medium heat.   Add more oil and butter if needed. Remove the browned shanks and set aside.

Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves and parsley to the pan and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high, add the wine and deglaze the pan. Return the shanks to the pan, add the tomatoes and enough stock to not quite cover the shanks. Cover and place it in a preheated 300F oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Turn the shanks over a few times during cooking.

When the meat is very tender, place the pan in cold water to cool and then refrigerate.  After the Osso Buco has chilled for several hours, skim the fat and remove the shanks from the braising liquid.  The liquid should be quite gelatinous from cooking with the bones, marrow and flour coated meat.  Remove the bay leaves and use a blender to puree the braising liquid into a sauce.  Return the shanks and sauce to the pan, cover and refrigerate.

About an hour before serving, place the pan in a 300F oven to heat through.

Combine the gremolata ingredients and strew over the osso buco before serving.

Serves four.


20060421, la.