Osso Buco "my way"
I have  family and friends that continue to offer me fabulous bottles of wine in exchange for a Osso Buco dinner (though I don't claim to be the originator of any Osso Buco recipe, I do claim of having mastered the art of preparing Osso Buco).  So here's a rock solid preperation (that's not etched in stone).  Of course it's double the pleasure for me because who can wine about being given a great bottle of WINE for making Osso Buco. 

All you will need to make this fabulous meal is one or two heavy pots (dutch ovens), a pair of tongs, a large spoon, a fine sieve, a small bowl, a medium size bowl, a small plate, a platter, aluminum foil, the ingrediants, shallow bowls for serving ,a little bit of time and some TLC. 

Here's the plan:  Now, stay with me and this will be a piece of cake (or veal in this case). As always, please feel free to explore the possibilites of flavors you can create by deviating from the plan.

I start by hunting down (in this case 2 to 4) of the most beautiful fresh 2 +/- pound veal shanks I can find in the city the day before I plan to create my Osso Buco dinner.  These shanks will be about 2 inches thick.  These could be somewhat of a challenge to find.  My butcher knows what I expect .....(the fresher the better).

Let the shanks rest at room temperature for up to an hour before starting. 

Begin by assembling three mixes (you can adjust these blends to suite your taste simply by smelling the aroma).

Mix No. 1:  Combine in the small bowl: 4, 5, 6 (what ever excites you)  garlic cloves smashed, 2 ++/- Tablespoons of sugar, brown sugar or honey1 medium or larger (your call) onion chopped and a small handful of fresh chopped or graded ginger.

Mix No. 2: Combine on the small plate: 20 +/- Cilantro sprigs (with roots if you can be so lucky).  My advise is to tie them into a bundle or even better, two bundles of 10 or so each, 1: fresh Anis bulb chopped, 2 Tablespoons of peppercorns (the more spicy or gourmet the better) and some crushed red pepper ( whatever feels good to you).

Mix No. 3: Combine in the medium bowl: 3 cups of water, 1 cup of sherry (or any other achohol based cooking ingrediant that turns you on), 1/2 cup of soy sauce ( just to kick in a little Asian twang).

You will also need for the preperation:
4 Tablespoons of  oil ( vegetable, olive, conola, peanut etc) of your choice, divided
Salt as desired
Fresh groung pepper as desired
2 or so tablespoon of fresh sliver ginger

Toppings: (one or a combination of ) 
Chopped scallions
Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped fresh watercress
Chopped fresh parsley
Fresh grated or shaved reggiano parmigiano cheese

Here's what we do.....

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use a heavy duty pot or two that fit the number of veal shanks you are making. If using two pots to make four shanks just  double the the ingrediants and divide them equally in each pot.  If making three shanks in one pot just stick with the plan.

Rinse and pat dry the veal shanks and season with salt and pepper (both sides).  I recommend tying kitchen string around the outter edge of the shanks to help keep them from falling apart once we've  preformed our culinary magic. 

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil (per pot) over high heat, add the seasoned veal shanks, brown both sides as desired, remove the pot(s) from the burner(s), remove the veal shanks and set aside on a plate and wipe out the pot(s) with a paper towel.

Return the wiped out pot(s) to the burner(s) over a medium  heat, add 2 tablespoons of the oil (per pot), mix No.1 (divided if so decided), cook until the onion is golden brown ( 5-8 minutes), add Mix No.2 (divided if so decided) and cook for about 2 minutes, add Mix No. 3 (divided if so decided) and bring to a simmer.

(Continue using medium low or medium heat)

Return the veal shanks (and any juices that collected on the plate) to the pot(s) and bring to a rolling simmer.

Cover the pot(s) with the lids or tightly fitted aluminium foil.

Put  the pot(s) into the preheated oven until the veal is very trender (approximately 3 hours). 

This is a good point to clean up our utensils, bowls, plates, countertop, sink and any other messed we made preparing the shanks for braising.  Now we can start clean again.

Remove the shanks from the pot(s) and put on the platter and cover with the foil.  Handle the shanks with care as they will be very tender and easily fall apart.  Now you'll see why I suggested tying them before we started.

Now let's have some fun!!!!

Strain the sauce from the pot(s) into the medium bowl (discard the solids) and return the strained sauce to the pot (if you were using two pots you can now convert to one pot).   Bring the sauce to a  rolling simmer and continue to simmer until the sauce smells very flavorful (approximately 10-15 minutes). Add the slivered ginger, the veal shanks ( gently squeeze them in if you reduced the number of pots from two to one or you can do this in two batches), season with salt and pepper and bring back to a rolling simmer.

Transfer the shanks to a shallow bowl and spoon sauce equally over each shank. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle each bowl with your preferred topping or combination of toppings (don't hide the Osso Buco) and serve.


P.S. I pair this meal with either a hardy complex red wine such as a Cabernet or Malbec or a spicy red wine such as a Pinot Noir or Sangiovese.  There's alot going on in the bowl so this dish will pair well with many wines. 

Joe   Joe wrote
on 4/20/2008 1:51:57 AM
Wow, it sounds like you really enjoy the preparation as much as the food which can lend itself very well to the finished dish.

Special Interest
Cooking, food, wine
writing Charles
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Rating: 10.0/10

I tripped onto Osso Buco at a opening of a new resturant in a rural community near where I live about 8 years ago. Wow.... Obviously I am not a vegetarian. Red meat is typically not my cup of tea but I know what taste good and this was cool. Hey, its only been around for hundreds of years.-
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