Osso Buco (Bone with a Hole)

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(Osso = bone) + (Buco = hole)

This meat is a shank cut. The best part is the marrow in the center of the bone when cooked. Mostly, it is made with veal shank. However, veal shank can be expensive or impossible to find. Since the meat will cook for an hour and one-half or more, I substitute the veal with a beef shank. I can find beef shank for a third of the cost of veal and actually I think it has a place in this dish.

There are two types of Osso Buco.  The older versions from decades ago is made with veal and the sauce is a brown sauce.  It has virtually no tomatoes other than a little tomato paste and uses dry white wine.  It is considered the old-fashioned Milanese type.  Since I’m using beef shank, I prefer to use red wine, tomato paste and a tomato sauce.  The sauce I make each year from the San Marzano tomatoes I grow in my garden.  This version with tomatoes is a more modern adaptation.  One final deviation I do is after browning the shank I cut the meat away from the bone into bite size pieces.  However, I serve the bone with the dish.  It makes it more convenient to eat.  I serve both with polenta and gremolata.  So, this is really Osso Buco stew.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 beef shanks (or veal if available)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce or puree. (I make my own each year from scratch and freeze)
½ cup of dry red wine (dry white will also work)
Polenta
Flour
EVOO
Salt and pepper
Meat broth as needed (I use veal stock when available but chicken broth works fine also.)
1 clove garlic (pressed)

Mirepoix:
2 carrots chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 half onion chopped
2 celery stalks cut into ½ inch pieces

Bouquet Garni:  Tie in a cheesecloth sack
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs oregano or thyme
1 bay leaf

Gremolata (Chopped herb garnish):
1 lemon grated for its lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley finely chopped
¼ tsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
(Chop all the herbs and garlic.  Mix everything in a bowl.) 

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Cooking Directions:
Salt and pepper the meat and then dredge in flour. Brown in a Tbsp. or more EVOO in an oven proof pot. I use a 5 quart cast-iron pot with a lid.  Remove meat after browning and set aside.  The shank should be served whole with the bone in but I also find it better to cut it up in squares and serve the bone along with it.  It makes it easier to manage on the plate.

Add another Tbsp. EVOO and sauté the mirepoix.

Mix the red wine and tomato paste in a cup or bowl until the paste has dissolved.  Add the wine mixture to the mirepoix and stir.  Add one cup of stock or broth and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a light boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Add bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.

Return meat to the pot and then add pressed garlic. Add remaining stock or broth until the meat is covered. Then add a dash more of wine.

Place pot with a lid (Dutch oven) in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 1½ to 2 hours.  An alternative is to simmer on top of the stove for nearly 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat tender.

Serve on a bed of cooked Polenta or Risotto and garnish with Gremolata to serve.

600 calories for 8 oz. meat, 24g carbs.

As of 1/30/22

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