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Osso Buco – Braised Veal Shanks

Osso Buco – Braised Veal Shanks

If you’ve never tried Osso Buco you need to add it to the menu! Thick, succulent veal shanks are gently braised until the meat is tender and falls from the bone and the marrow is a rich, savory bite of goodness. Braising is one of my favorite ways to cook meat. Many recipes call for braising on the stovetop but the easiest method by far is braising in the oven and the results are wonderful!

Osso Buco translates to “a bone with a hole” or “hole in the bone” – depending upon the source. It’s simply a delicious and comforting dish and easy to prepare. Veal shanks are now more commonly available than they were years ago and most fine food markets carry them. The veal is cooked in a beautiful liquid starting with dry white wine and chicken stock.

Flavors are layered into the dish with fresh carrots, sweet onion, celery and a touch of tangy tomato paste. All are enhanced with the fragrance of orange and cloves mingled with herbs of Rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. And if that isn’t good enough, it’s topped with fresh parsley and a sprinkling of orange zest.

Osso Buco cooks in the oven unattended in about 2-1/2 hours. A bit of upfront prep and you’ll have beautiful veal shanks bathed in a luscious, aromatic sauce. Looking for something special that is easier to prepare – this is your dish!

Osso Buco – Braised Veal Shanks

6 veal shanks, 3” thick

½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, quartered and sliced, about 2 cups

6-7 carrots, scraped or peeled and rough chopped, about 2-1/2 cups

3 stalks celery, sliced, about 1-1/2 cups

6 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 cup dry white wine

4-5 cups chicken stock

1 small can tomato paste, 6-ounces

2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

1 sprig fresh Rosemary, or ½ teaspoon dried Rosemary, crushed

4 bay leaves

6 whole cloves

Peel from one orange

Zest from one orange

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Tie a piece of twine around each veal shank; this helps to hold them together while they cook. Season both sides generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside to rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Pour the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Heat over medium-heat until the oil is shimmering. Dust all sides of the veal shanks in the flour, shaking off excess.

Cook until the veal is golden on both sides. Don’t crowd the meat while it cooks, you want that golden outer crust. Move the veal to a separate plate to rest.

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the stockpot. Sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 7-10 minutes.

Add the sliced garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the white wine and continue cooking until the wine has reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Toss the thyme, Rosemary and the bay leaves into the vegetables.

Stir in the tomato paste.

Pour in 4 cups of the chicken stock and stir to combine. Add the orange peel and whole cloves.

Place the veal shanks back into the Dutch oven. The chicken stock should come to the top of the veal shanks but not cover them completely. Add the additional cup of chicken stock if needed. Bring the stock to a boil.

Cover the Dutch oven and transfer to a pre-heated 350-degree oven; cook for 2-1/2 hours. The veal should be very tender and easily pull away from the bone.

If you want a thicker sauce, transfer the veal to a separate dish and reduce the sauce by cooking it over medium heat until it reduces and thickens. To serve, remove the stems of the herbs from the sauce. Ladle a large spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a large bowl and place a veal shank on top, removing the twine. Garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkling of orange zest.

Risotto with peas and prosciutto makes a perfect side with Osso Buco!


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