Ossobuco, or Osso Buco, literally “pierced bone”, is a seriously flavorsome dish from Milan, consisting of veal shank pieces browned in butter, moistened with white wine and finally cooked in a light tomato sauce. Ossobuco is traditionally accompanied by Risotto alla Milanese and topped with gremolada, a mix of finely chopped garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Some like to add to the mix a pounded anchovy fillet, but this is not part of the recipe I prepared for you.
For the recipe of Risotto alla Milanese, see the related link at bottom page.
Ingredients and Instructions (serves 4):
- 4 tablespoons/50 g of butter
- 4 veal shanks*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup/200 g of canned tomatoes
- 1/3 cup/ 1 dl of white wine (dry, not sweet, not bubbly)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon rind, grated
*Note: If you have never prepared shanks, make sure you get the ones that are sawed the across the bone by the butcher and therefore consist of bone and marrow surrounded by meat.
- Start making the gremolada, by finely chopping the garlic and the parsley. Place in a small mixing bowl and grate the peel of half lemon in it. Mix, cover to preserve all the fragrance, and set aside for later.
- Mash the canned tomatoes, forcing them through a colander or placing them in a food processor and pulsing a few times. You want them reduced to a pulp, not a purée.
- Dredge the veal shanks lightly with the flour.
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large, heavy pan, add the veal pieces and brown evenly, turning each piece carefully so that the marrow falls off the bone cavity.
- Season with salt and pepper, then moisten with the wine, adding it a little at a time.
- When the wine is reduced, add the tomatoes, lower the heat, cover tightly and cook gently for about 1 or 1 and 1/2 hour, until the meat is tender and almost ready to fall off the bone. If necessary, add a little bit of water while cooking, but the sauce should remain quite thick.
- When the Ossobuco pieces are ready, remove the lead off the pan, sprinkle an equal amount of the gremolada on top of each piece, and simmer, uncovered, for another 5 minutes without turning.
Serve Ossobuco hot, with Risotto alla Milanese (see related link at page bottom) or simply on top of mounds of plain boiled rice.