Veal Osso Buco

Osso Buco is all about the marrow. To paraphrase Thoreau, “…live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,…” The name refers to the hole of the bone, which is where the essence lies. Be certain to take some sort of implement to extract the good stuff and smear it on the polenta or risotta on which it is served. The meat itself is quite special, also, tender and succulent. This slow and low cooked peasant dinner is a decadent one, to be sure. It’s one of those foods that is pleasing to prepare on a rainy Sunday afternoon, to chop and season and saute while Billy Holiday plays through the kitchen speakers. It fills the house with a rich aroma while you can do last minute weekend things, handwrite a long note to an old friend, fill pages of your Moleskine journal, and arrange daffodils in a vase. I like this one, a lot. And I think you will, too.

Veal Osso Buco
Adapted from a recipe by Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lbs pancetta, cut into thick cubes
  • 3-4 veal shanks
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 cups (beef) stock
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped parsley

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the fat renders, about five minutes. Remove to paper towels. Meanwhile, season the shanks with salt and pepper, dredge in the flour and shake off excess. Add the shanks to the pot and brown, about four minutes a side. Remove the shanks and add a little olive oil to the pan, then the carrots, celery and onions. Season the vegetables with salt and saute, then add garlic, rosemary, bay leaf and thyme. Add tomato paste and wine and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Return pancetta and veal and pour in the broth, enough to come halfway up the shanks. Turn up the heat and simmer for five to ten minutes, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for an hour and a half, until the meat is falling off the bone. Garnish with gremolata, a bright combination of minced garlic, chopped parsley, and lemon zest. Serve over creamy polenta, risotto, or mashed potatoes.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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