Oh Sweet Day!

Osso Buco



I intended to make osso buco long time ago because I love to eat veal, and we don’t eat veal that much. So, when I decided to make this dish last weekend, I went to my favorite Italian butcher hoping to buy some very good quality veal shanks.

What surprised me was they offered two types of shank – regular and osso buco. You might think of course I would go for osso buco veal shank. But no, I DID NOT! Because I’m a mom now, means I have every right to be price conscious. My instinct was to buy the regular one which looked as tender and meaty and most importantly it was HALF CHEAPER!

After over 2-hour cooking, the osso buco tasted delicious and flavorful. Meat was tender and smooth. When we were scoping out the succulent veal marrow in the center of the bone, it’s like we were eating a lusciously pricey ice cream.

But, now I understand the regular veal shank is not superb enough for such strong flavored sauce. Sorry, young cute butcher, I know I shouldn’t have ignored your friendly advice.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces of veal shank (about 3-4 lb)
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
zest strips from a lemon
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 bay leaves
1 bottle red wine
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, roughly mashed


Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper.

Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until butter melts.

Sear the veal shanks, turning carefully with tongs, until both sides are in rich brown caramel color.

Set aside the browned meat to a plate.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Using the same skillet, saute the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic and bay leaves over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the veal shanks back in the skillet. Pour in the wine and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and stir everything together.

Cover the skillet and put it in the oven, and braise for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid and cook another 30 minutes until the sauce is thick and the veal is tender and almost falling off the bone.

Serve it with spaghetti or steamed rice.

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