Osso Bucco, the Hollow Bone: An Italian Favorite


Osso Bucco, the Hollow Bone

Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking, if you’ve read my stuff before, you know I like things simple and straight forward, and already “Osso Bucco” sounds way to fancy. In addition, GASP!, it’s VEAL. Well, PC I am not, and this is my all-time favorite dish. This evening, I was sitting in a bar and a fellow patron asked me what I would cook for everyone in the room were I able to cook anything I wanted.

I picked Osso Bucco without hesitation. Slow roasted and full of rich flavor, nothing beats a well made osso bucco. So I’ve decided to write about it, if you can find a butcher who can provide you the sliced veal shank, well, read on and prepare to fall in love.

So you’ve got some round pieces of veal with a bone in the center. You’re also going to need some carrots, celery, yellow onion (Here are some great onion choppers for you!), garlic cloves, oregano (fresh if possible), olive oil, roma tomatoes and some wine. depending on what I have in the house or what I feel like eating, I will use a dry red or a Marsala wine.

Recommended reading: Best Wine Fridges

Basically, we are going to sear each side of each cut. Cut up some carrots, celery and onions in large chunks. For a dish like this I won’t peel my carrots, just wash them. Crush the garlic cloves and the oregano leaves (Here are some great garlic presses for you!). Put some oil in a pot, big enough to accommodate all your cuts. Put the pot on the stove and get the oil hot, over a high heat, add the garlic, oregano, some salt and quickly stir, now add your veal pieces, salt them on top and sear them on each side for about 30 seconds or until they begin to brown just a little. Now add your carrots, celery and onion (mire poix).

(Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)

Move everything around, flip the shank pieces over a few times, get a nice brown on the carrots and onions, pour in enough wine to cover about one third of the shank pieces, boil like this for a minute or so, long enough to cut up the roma tomatoes into some large chunks. Throw the chunks in, give the pot a swirl, add some more salt. Add some water, enough to cover the shanks. Put a lid on the pot, pop it in a preheated oven (about 375-400), turn the oven down to 300 and let it cook for at least an hour, but preferably two or even three. You know its ready when u can flake the meat from your meat grinder with a fork, like a well made pot roast.

I usually serve osso bucco over fried or mashed potatoes, each shank resting atop its potato mound. covered in roasted vegetables and the liquid from the pan. Cooked until they are tender, just flaking off the bone. Be sure to have some crostini or a nice baguette available for eating the marrow out of the center bone. This may not be your typical Tuesday night dinner, but it could be! So osso bucco is not that hard after all, its only really a matter of sourcing the veal.

You can find similar recipes in the Best Italian Cookbooks!

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