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Recipe File: Osso Buco
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:16 pm    Post subject: Recipe File: Osso Buco Reply with quote


Article Digest:
Slow cooking meats with a lot of connective tissue can transform a usually tough and unpleasant cut into an amazingly succulent masterpiece. Osso buco is a great example of a long braising process that showcases three great flavors and textures - flavorful beef, unctuous gelatin, and savory marrow.

Assemble the ingredients: 4 to 6 veal shanks (about 12 ounces each), about 4 cups chicken broth (2 14-ounce cans is good enough), 12 oz. dry white wine (such as a chardonnay), 1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 2 large garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, 2 medium celery sticks, and a 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes (drained). Sometimes getting a hold of veal shanks can be difficult. While preparing this recipe for photographing, I was only able to get veal shanks at one of the three Whole Foods Markets near where I live (and I had to try three times that week). I generally recommend getting 12 ounce veal shanks, but when the markets don't have much selection, get whatever you can. In my case, 3 smaller pieces and two larger cuts were all that were available, so I bought them all (leaving none for the next guy trying to find veal shanks to photograph). You can also use beef shanks (which is usually about 1/3 the price of veal) which will require about 20 min. longer braising time.
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Finely dice the onion, celery, and carrots. Mince the garlic cloves.
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Salt and pepper the veal shanks. You can tie up the shanks to help keep the pieces stay intact (as shown in the picture), but I usually don't bother.
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Begin to preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat in a Dutch oven or wide stock pot.
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Raise the heat to medium and brown the veal shanks by setting them into the pan and not moving them for five minutes. Flip the shanks over and brown the other side for five more minutes.
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After browning both sides, remove the shanks and set aside in a large plate.
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Add the diced onions to the pot and stir until golden brown. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to help deglaze the pot. If you don't get all the fond (the browned pieces of meat stuck to the pan) off, don't worry, the rest of it will come off easily when we add the wine.
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After about five minutes of stirring, the onions should be golden brown. Add the carrots and celery to the onions and stir until softened and celery is slightly translucent, about five more minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one more minute.
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Pour in the dry white wine and increase the heat to medium high. Bring the mixture up to a full simmer. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape off any remaining bits of fond from the pot. Simmer until the wine has reduced by about half.
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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and bay leaves to the pot. Stir so it's evenly mixed and let it come back up to a simmer.
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Add the browned veal shanks to the pot. Make sure the open end (or larger opening) of each bone is facing up so the marrow doesn't fall out during braising. The liquid should come up to almost cover the shanks. Bring it back up to a full simmer.
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Cover the pot and place it into the oven. Braise until the meat is almost falling off the bone, about 2 hours.
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While the osso buco is braising, prepare the gremolata. Gather about ten sprigs of parsley (about 15 g), 1 clove of garlic, and a lemon.
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Mince the garlic and parsley. Zest the whole lemon.
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Mix together and set aside in the refrigerator to chill as the osso buco finishes. (Gremolata is a traditional garnish for osso buco, but can also be stirred into the sauce just before serving.)
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Remove the pot from the oven (while wearing oven mitts) and check the meat. If it's not soft and practically falling apart, put it back in the oven for another ten minutes and check again. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside on a warm plate to await service. If any marrow falls out of the bone, just scoop it up with a spoon and deposit it back into its hole.
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Boil the liquid in the pot to reduce it to a sauce. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. You can add a cornstarch slurry to help thicken the sauce (just mix 1 heaping teaspoon of cornstarch with a couple teaspoons of water and stir the mixture into the boiling liquid). The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon that is dipped into it.
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Place a veal shank onto a plate and serve with sauce and gremolata on top.

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Osso Buco (serves 6)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
6 12-oz. (340 g) veal shanksseasonbrown both sides (5 min. each)set asidebring to simmmerbraise in oven for 2 hoursplate
salt & pepper
4 Tbs. (55 g) buttermeltsaute until golden brownsaute until tendersaute 1 min.simmer until reduced by 1/2stir insimmer until thickened to sauce
1 large (250 g) onion
1 large (100 g) carrot
2 medium (70 g) celery sticks
2 large (15 g) garlic cloves
12 oz. (355 g) dry white wine
14.5-oz. (410 g) can of diced tomatoes (drained)
about 4 cups (900-1000 mL) chicken broth
3 bay leaves
cornstarch slurry
salt & pepper
(Due to a known bug in Firefox when rendering border collapsed tables, I have highlighted in different colors the action and ingredient of rows/columns that are rendered improperly. See first comment below.)

Gremolata
1 clove garlicmincemixchill
1 medium lemonzest
10 sprigs (15 g) parsleymince


by Michael Chu
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Firefox users, this is how the recipe table looks in IE:
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BlackGriffen
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: Iron Chef Reply with quote

Did you post this because both Flay and Batali did osso buco last night on Iron Chef? I don't remember if Flay used veal or venison, but I know that Mario used turkey.

I wonder if you can do this with just about any cross cut animal leg?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just made some osso bucco last night. I used a recipe from simplyrecipes, which called for first rendering fat from pancetta & then browning the shanks in that. Quite a tasty addition.

Also, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" advises using hind shanks--these have smaller bones & the meat adheres to them quite well. I was able to find two hind shanks and two fore shanks when I made mine the other night & I have to agree with Julia. She also writes that shanks freeze well for several weeks, so you can gradually build a big enough collection to make it with hind shanks.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:10 am    Post subject: Re: Iron Chef Reply with quote

BlackGriffen wrote:
Did you post this because both Flay and Batali did osso buco last night on Iron Chef? I don't remember if Flay used veal or venison, but I know that Mario used turkey.

No, that is just lucky timing. I prepped and photographed the osso buco about two weeks ago and have been too busy reading article submissions and working on Fanpop to write it up earlier.

BlackGriffen wrote:
I wonder if you can do this with just about any cross cut animal leg?

Slow braising often works on shanks as a technique to extract as much gelatin from the bone and connective tissue as possible. This "loosens" up the meat and coats the fibers and makes it into the dish that we love so much. I wonder how it turned out since Iron Chef doesn't give them much time to cook.
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fabio_vr



Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Verona, Italy

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:43 pm    Post subject: Ossobuco Reply with quote

the correct spelling is one word: ossobuco, just a detail. It means bone with a hole, and sounds to be a reasonable name.

It is a very popular dish in Italy, or better used to be: this kind of meat used to be cheap, and available to everybody. It is part of the culinary traditions of northern Italy, even if it used to be prepared in the south as well (using different kind of meats, or even beef tail like in Rome): the use of tomatoes i s more tipical in the south.

The city where it became very popular is Milan: now you can see it served even in five star restaurants, where it used to be served more in canteens or very cheap restaurants.
Keep in mind that availability of frist class cuts at affordable prices (or incomes high enough to be able to afford it) are very recent hitory overhere: mid sixties, with the birth of the major industries. Before everybody was using second or third class cuts, wich now have almost disaperared, but which gave birth to extraordinary dishes.

To have an ossobuco alla milanese, just leave the tomatoes away, and place the veal ossobuco on risotto alla milanese (a safran flavoured rice, if you want I can quickly post a recipe)

Merry Christmas from Verona (Italy)
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Lintballoon



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject: Fabulous! Reply with quote

What a fantastic and traditional recipe to see here! I have attempted Ossobuco before with disappointing results. Probably didn't stew the meat long enough.
I believe that the combination of carrots, celery and onions is called mirepoix.
I think you could follow this recipe when preparing oxtail (soup/stew) as well.
Thanks again, Michael.
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Calvin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. I have the same plate (the one in the final picture) as you do! Smile

Anyway, those shanks look a lot like the "soup bones" that I see at Safeway. They are among the cheapest meats in the store. One time, I tried to cook it and eat it as if it was steak. That didn't turn out too well as it was really chewy.

How well do you think they'll work in this recipe?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calvin wrote:
Anyway, those shanks look a lot like the "soup bones" that I see at Safeway. They are among the cheapest meats in the store. One time, I tried to cook it and eat it as if it was steak. That didn't turn out too well as it was really chewy.

How well do you think they'll work in this recipe?

Many tough and chewy cuts can turn out amazingly tender and flavorful is cooked with a long braising method such as the one used in this recipe. I have no doubt that cooking it in a flavorful liquid for a few hours will do wonders to the "soup bones".
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MeMeMe!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do the same, but I use a pressure cooker, and it cuts the cooking time to about 30 minutes instead.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A local restaurant chain has Ossobuco on the menu but it is made with pork shanks and the results are delicious.

http://www.alehouseinc.com/index.htm
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother was a guest at an EXTREMELY expensive Italian restaurant in NYC where he had Osso Buco. He said it was the best he ever had and spoke to the chef. The chef explained to him that a cow has exactly two premium cuts of osso buco. They are from the head of the femur of each rear leg where it fits into the acetabulum. When you typically get Osso Buco, you can look through the bone once you have sucked out (or more elegantly spooned out) the narrow. However, in these two pieces from the cow, the bone resembles a cup where you can only scoop out the marrow because it comes from the end of the bone.

Has anybody else heard this? Is there really a difference?
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The One True Josh
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:22 am    Post subject: Awsome Reply with quote

I made this tonight (served it with saffron rice) and it was amazing. I'm increasingly in love with braised meats, because they come out so tender and fantastic, but really require very little effort. My wife was a little creeped out by the sauce ("Looks kinda vomitous..."), but after the first bite she was sold.

AJ's in Phoenix almost always has veal shanks. I usually have to go to the mexican carneceria to find beefs shanks. They're sometimes questionable in quality, but they make an OK stock. Anyone know a really good butcher in the phoenix area? I live in the east valley, but I'll drive anywhere.

For dessert I made the chocolate pecan pie. A great night. Love your site.
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joesix
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:47 pm    Post subject: Veal -> Beef Shanks: Flavor Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
"You can also use beef shanks (which is also 1/3 the price
of veal)"

Hmmm, more flavor, cheaper. What's not to like?
The slightly longer cooking time is insignificant compared to
the overall effort to make this recipe.

Why chicken broth rather than beef broth? Wouldn't
beef broth add more bold beef flavor?

We've got to make this for dinner tonight. Thanks for the
article.
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dickrebel



Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Location: New York (Manhattan)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:10 pm    Post subject: Ossobucco Milanese Reply with quote

This recipe is v.similar to the one in Silver Spoon for ossobucco milanese, but they are dredged in flour before browning then simmered stovetop and cooked for far less time. I think your method probably yeilds better results, although I probably will dredge them in flour as I remember my mimi doing this.

I am off to Citarella in hopes the butcher actually remembered to order my shanks. This stuff is amazingly hard to get ahold of. I don't know why, and neither does the butcher (well, meat counter worker).
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