Introduction: Ossobuco: Braised Veal Shanks
Ossobuco is a Milanese dish made from veal shanks that literally means bone with a hole. The hole in the bone holds the precious bone marrow, which is one of the best parts. However, the combination of everything makes this dish sublime. I prefer to get pieces from the whole shank, with big and small pieces. This will give you a variety of bone and meat sizes and more marrow. I have seen pictures with a bone and big piece of meat surrounding it. This would still taste good, but you only get a little bone marrow. As for cost, I recommend shopping around at different butchers. I have seen veal shanks for $14.99 or more a pound. This is too pricy. I would rather buy a good steak for that price. I found a butcher in San Francisco who sells excellent quality for $7.99 a pound, so its pays to shop around.
A good friend of mine shared this recipe from the Home Chef Kitchen Store and Cooking School. They have since closed down, but this recipe has been one of our treasured ones. It is so good, that we are now afraid to order it in a restaurant for fear of being disappointed. It is a great dish to make for dinner parties, since you can prepare it ahead of time and keep in the oven until you need to serve it. Our friends have all raved about and asked for this recipe. This recipe will serve 4-6. Adjust according to your party size. This can be eaten by itself or served with a starch of your choice, like rice, risotto, or gremolata. This is a dish that actually tastes better the next day, so making extra for leftovers is a good idea.
Ingredients and Instructions:
Mirepoix (Italian Sofritto)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, finely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Saute vegetables with butter in a skillet until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a large casserole and sprinkle with lemon zest.
- 3 lbs veal shanks
- flour for browning
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Dredge veal shank in flour and add olive oil to the same skillet.
- When the oil is hot, brown the shanks on all sides. Adjust heat to slightly brown but not char the meat.
- Lay shanks on top of vegetables in casserole.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 cups dark stock (beef)
- 1 lb can italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig finely chopped rosemary
- Parsley, chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Pour off fat in skillet, add all braising sauce ingredients.
- Reduce by about 1/4, scraping up brown bits.
- Pour braising liquid over the veal shanks, add bay leaf and rosemary.
- Cover and braise about 2-3 hours until the shanks are tender. Can be kept in the oven at low temp until serving.
- Garnish with chopped parsley
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