Gourmet cooking from Milan
Osso buco (or ossobuco alla milanese) is a dish that comes from Milan, Italy. The veal literally melts in your mouth after cooking for 2 ½ hours. In an article on spaghetti and meatballs, I mentioned that Italians usually do not mix pasta (or other starches like rice) with meat in the same course. But osso buco is almost always served with a special rice recipe called risotto alla milaneses. I might also add that osso buco is frequently topped with gremolata which is a mixture of garlic, lemon peel, and Italian parsley (see below).
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 6 – veal shanks about 2 inches thick and crosscut (i.e., cut across the bone)
- ½ cup – all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 8 tablespoons – butter
- 2 tablespoons - extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – onion, finely chopped
- 3 – celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 – carrots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves – garlic, minced
- ½ bottle – dry white wine (e.g., chardonnay)
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) – diced tomatoes (e.g., Hunts brand)
- 2 lemons – remove the peel from the lemons in long strips with a vegetable peeler and then mince
- 3 cloves – garlic, minced
- ¼ cup – finely chopped Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse the shanks (to remove any small bone particles) and then salt and pepper each side.
Veal shanks crosscut.
In a large frying pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter on medium to medium high heat and then add the olive oil. Dip each shank in the flour to cover, shaking excess off, and place in the pan. Once the veal has browned well on both sides, remove and place in a baking dish (the dish I use is about 10 x 14 inches and 2.5 inches deep).
Browned veal shanks.
Pour off any excess fat or oil in the pan and then add 4 tablespoons butter along with the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and tender. Add the wine and make sure you scrape the browned particles off the bottom of the pan while you are waiting for the wine to boil. They should come off easily. Once the wine boils, reduce the heat, add the tomatoes, and mix well. Pour the contents in the pan over the shanks in the baking dish. Spread the vegetables over and between the shanks, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 2 ½ hours.
To make the gremolata, simply mix the ingredients together. I usually serve each person a shank topped with the vegetables and juices and sprinkled with the gremolata. I recommend that you serve risotto alla milanese along with the shanks. Enjoy.
Served with rice and topped with gremolata.
A flavourful and tender osso buco.