Slow Braised Osso Buco Milanese


Ingredients:

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, kept whole
    • Cheesecloth
    • Kitchen twine, for bouquet garni and tying the veal shanks
  • 3 whole veal shanks (about 1 pound per shank), trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 small onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium sized carrots, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (15 oz can) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock

Gremolata 

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp finely minced garlic (1 -2 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)

I went beyond the traditional white wine in my ingredients and added some additional red wine for a little more depth of flavor.  This is, of course, a personal preference.  Make the recipe to your liking, as always.  If you prefer to not use wine at all in your dish, I would substitute 1 1/2 cups of beef or chicken broth in place of the white + red wine step.

Written Method:   

Let's start off by making our bouquet garni.  This is just a little packet of seasoning that we will tie up so that we can fish it out later on.   Add your rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and garlic cloves into a square of the cheesecloth and tie it up with a piece of kitchen twine.  Bam.  Nothing hard about that!  Set it aside.

Prep your meat.  

Pat your veal shanks dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.  We need them to be dry so that we can get a nice sear on them.  Tie them up with the kitchen twine so they won't fall off the bone later on when they get really tender.  Season each of them generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Dredge each of them in flour and shake off the excess.  I know you've done this hundreds of times with other meats, right?  Nothing new.

Let's get cooking!

You can go ahead and preheat the oven to 375 degrees at this point.  In a large Dutch oven pot, heat the EVOO oil until really hot (you should almost start to see it shimmer).  Carefully add the tied veal shanks to the hot oil (use long tongs!) and sear them all sides until they are nice and brown.  That may take about 3 - 4 minutes per side.  Remove the browned shanks and set them aside.  

To that same pot, add your chopped onions, carrots and celery.  Season the vegetables with a healthy pinch of kosher salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute them until soft and translucent, probably about 7 - 8 minutes.  Add the tomato paste to the vegetables and stir well to incorporate.  

To the dutch oven, add in both the red and white wines and 2 cups of the chicken stock (reserving the remaining 1 cup).  Return the browned shanks to the pot.  Now add the bouquet garni and the petite diced tomatoes.  Bring all of this to a boil.  

Once the liquid has come to a boil, transfer the dutch oven to the preheated 375 F oven for 2 hours.  After the first hour, you will want to check on them every 15 minutes or so, making sure that the braising liquid remains about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the meat, and basting them with that amazing sauce.  If you level of the liquid starts getting too low, add the remainder of the chicken stock.  Again, the level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the shank!

While your veal shanks are in the oven, combine the ingredients for the gremolata.  Set aside.  Make sure you only get the yellow part of the lemon, not the white pith underneath. 

At the end of the cooking time, when you see that they are sufficiently succulent, carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and place them in decorative serving platter.  You will want something large enough to go under the whole piece of meat to transfer it, so it won't fall apart.  Don't forget to cut off the kitchen twine!

You can remove the bouquet garni from the pot and throw it away.  Then pour all the juices and sauce from the pot over the shanks.  Garnish your osso buco with the gremolata and impress the heck out of your dinner guests!!!!   Collect your applause!  This dish goes wonderfully with risotto, polenta, or just served over some good old mashed potatoes!