Fast Food Center! Osso Buco is a traditional Italian dish of tender veal shank marinated in a tomato-based white wine sauce that is as hearty as it is luxurious, thanks to the delicate flavor and texture of the veal.
Traditionally served with a yellow saffron Milanese risotto topped with a fresh mixture of parsley, lemon and garlic known as Gremolata. But just as delicious stacked on mashed potatoes! It’s a slow-cooked recipe that sits alongside famous dishes like Shredded Beef Stew and Guinness Beef Stew.
“You never gave me Osso Buco!!” I badgered my butcher. (“Never” is a bit of a stretch, but decorations get out of me sometimes in desperate times.)
“Osso Buco flies out the door in winter,” my butcher says.
“We don’t have enough. You have to order it, or come when we get it.”
So unlucky to eat, she immediately ordered an Osso Buco. Because I shared it with you all winter. But I filled it in – first with photos, then a video, and finally, after attempt #3, I have everything I need to finally post it!
What is Osso Buco?
Osso Buco is a veal shank cut into thick slices and slowly cooked in a tomato sauce. Fellow Aussies may have seen “Osso Buco” beef sold in supermarkets – in fact, beef is more common than veal. At least in winter.
If Osso Buco is traditionally made with veal, it is also excellent with beef. The meat will be more intense because the veal has a finer and sweeter flavor.
But it’ll still be great – and you’ll still have that signature chewy chewiness that many like to sip or slap on crusty bread. (Not me, don’t do it for me, I always give mine!)
A traditional Italian dish
Making Osso Buco is no different than most slow cooked Italian masterpieces – the meat is browned, then simmered with onion, garlic, carrots and celery, which form then the tasty base of a tomato sauce. Osso Buco’s sauce is a bit thinner than other slow-cooked Italian specialties like ragu because it’s made with white wine rather than red.
One small annoyance I have is that when the veal is cooked to “fall apart”, it literally falls off the bone. Still tasty, but I want the meat to stay on the bone for presentation.
So I throw in the towel and hold the calf with string.
One tip I have, however, is to do this after the meat is browned. Otherwise, the twine will come loose when the meat browns. It’s really annoying.
Then let it bubble away gently for 1.5 – 2 hours (veal is more delicate than beef so you won’t need to cook for longer than this) until the meat is fork tender.
And I truly do mean – fork tender.
But – enough about the tender, slow-cooked, chunky veal in a thick, tangy tomato sauce! Stop saying you don’t need a knife to eat. The weekend is here! It’s Friday, call me from the couch and next to me is a giant hairball that stinks of dog staring at me because “leg time” is 30 minutes late.