Another Braise…Italian Style


I would normally apologize for giving you yet another slow braise, right on the heels of my pork stew, but this Osso Buco really couldn’t wait.  Though I didn’t use a slow cooker, this could be easily modified to work in one.  Myself, I just received a super-cool Le Creuset braiser, which I am ecstatic about, and couldn’t wait to give it a proper baptism in oil.  I actually first saw this type of pan on Giada DeLaurentiis’ show when she was making Osso Buco, but it will be excellent for paella, chicken braises, large amounts of risotto and more.  Eeeeeeeeee – Le Creuset makes me a bit giddy, I can’t help it.

raw-vealOsso buco, or ‘bone with a hole’, is named for the central ingredient: veal shanks with marrow bone.  Traditionally, osso buco is made by braising the shanks in a mixture of white wine and warm spices like cinnamon and allspice then topping it all with a lemon, parsley and garlic “gremolata”.  More modern preparations involve tomatoes and mirepoix (a small dice of onion, carrot, and celery), as well as a creamy Risotto Milanese accompaniment.

I wanted to go with Giada’s version, since I associate her with both the dish and the braiser pan, but hers was bianco with only a small amount of tomato paste and no real tomatoes.  It is definitely a recipe worth trying, but I was in the mood for a rich red sauce.  I perused a couple of other clippings I had on hand, and settled on the below as my final composition.  RJ and I were both extremely happy with the way this turned out, though the egg noodles were nowhere near as yummy as the risotto would have been.  Well, there’s always next time!

Osso Buco

2 Tbs. vegetable or olive oilvegetables

4 veal shanks, at least 1 1/2 in. thick
All-purpose flour
1 small onion, in small dice
2 carrots, 1/2 inch dice
2 celery stalks, 1/2 inch dice
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 c. dry white wine
24 oz. can of whole plum tomatoes, chopped with juices reserved
2 c. chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof saute pan or dutch oven.  Tie veal shanks around the circumference with kitchen twine.  Salt and pepper, then dredge in light coating of flour on both sides.  Brown veal shanks on all sides, approximately 4 minutes per side.   finished-veal-in-potRemove shanks to separate plate.  Use same pan as the veal to cook the vegetables (season with salt and pepper to taste) over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables.  Cook 1 minute.  Add white wine and cook, stirring, until reduced by half.  Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock and reserved juices and bring to a boil.  Add veal shanks and settle the meat and herb sprigs within the liquids.

Put the covered pan or dutch oven into the heated oven and set the timer for 1 1/2 hours.  Flip the shanks every 30 minutes.

When the shanks are easily falling off the bone, remove the shanks from the liquid to a plate and cut off the kitchen twine.  Strain the liquid through a seive, pressing on the solids to extract the flavorful liquid, and put the strained liquid back into the cooking pan.  Bring to a simmer and put the shanks back in the liquid to reheat.  Serve over risotto or egg noodles.osso buco and noodles