1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 dry bay leaf
2 whole cloves
Kitchen twine, for bouquet garni and tying the veal shanks
3 whole veal shanks trimmed (about 1 lb. per shank)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
½ cup vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 small carrot, dice into ½-inch cubes
1 stalk celery, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Ossobuco is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata, a chopped herb condiment made of lemon zest, parsley, and garlic and traditionally served with risotto. There are two types of ossobuco: a modern version that has tomatoes and the original version which does not. The older version, ossobuco in bianco, is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. The modern and more popular recipe includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Gremolata is optional. Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for “bone with a hole” (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the center of the cross-cut veal shank.
Total Time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 1/2 – 2 hrs.
Yield: 6 Servings
Place the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cloves into cheesecloth and secure with twine. This is your bouquet garni.
For the veal shanks, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Veal shanks will brown better when they are dry. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.
In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil until smoking. Add tied veal shanks to the hot pan and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.
In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt at this point to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Return browned shanks to the pan and add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until the meant is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about ¾ the way up the shank.
Carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and place on a serving platter. Cut off the kitchen twine. Remove and discard garni. Pour all the juices and sauce from the pot over the shanks. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.