Savory Braised Veal Osso Buco. I don’t think I need to say anything more. I mean, it’s osso buco, right? Just pour a glass of wine, pick up a fork and go to town. No preamble, just eat! At least that’s the way we attacked our plates.
It smelled so good that I was only able to snap a few shots before my very hungry family (fed up with my blogging antics) physically removed my lightbox and camera so we could devour dinner. I’m sorry about that, but I did write down the recipe for you, so you can taunt your family with with the same tummy-grumbling aromas.
I will say two things about braising. #1 – In January and February, there is nothing more satisfying than a slow braise. Meaty, warm and homey. I just want to curl up on the couch with a bowl and spoon nestled in my lap and a glass of wine within easy reach.
#2 – There is nothing simpler to make than a slow braise. Brown the meat, saute the veg, add the broth, wine, beer or whatever liquid will cradle and love your dish and let the oven do the rest.
I do have a “secret ingredient,” though. Mushroom powder. Essentially, it’s dried mushrooms that I spin through a spice grinder. It intensifies the broth and adds depth. Fresh herbs and a sachet of spice help too.
Serve with a sprinkle of gremolata to brighten the dish and make sure you’ve got plenty of crusty bread to sop up all the juices. And don’t forget to scoop the marrow out of the bones — it’s the best part.
Osso Buco is rich and meaty, the sauce gets it's unctuousness from the marrow bones of the veal. If you've never sucked the marrow out of a bone... it's like a beefy butter - and it's fabulous!
- 2 1/2 pounds crosscut veal shanks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped into 1/2" dice
- 1 leek cleaned of any grit, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 1/2" half moon slices
- 2 stalks celery chopped into 1/2" dice
- 3 medium carrots chopped into 1/2" dice
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried mushroom powder see note* optional
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 medium sprig rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium veal stock or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Place the cloves, fennel and bay leaves on a piece of cheese cloth and tie into a little pouch with a piece of kitchen string. Set aside. Tie the rosemary and thyme with another piece of kitchen string and set aside.
With a paper towel, pat dry the veal shanks. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt with the pepper. Sprinkle both sides of the veal with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium - medium-high high heat. Place the veal in the dutch oven and brown on each side. Transfer the veal to a plate and set aside.
Add the mushrooms, onions, celery, leeks and garlic. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat, until the vegetables give up some of their liquid and begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato pasted mushroom powder and cook for another minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the stock or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid off the pan for 5-8 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by about a quarter.
Place the bouquet garni and the herb bundle into the vegetable mix and push down into the liquid. Add the veal shanks back to the dutch oven along with any juices accumulated on the plate. Cover the pot with the lid and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender and falling off the bone.
Meanwhile, assemble the gremolata in a small bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest and parsley and toss with your fingers.
When Osso Bucco is finished, sprinkle each serving with a bit of the gremolata.
To make mushroom powder, place dried mushrooms (I used porcini) in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder and pulse until it forms a powder. Store mushroom powder in an airtight container.