Sometimes a recipe doesn’t need the all the bells and whistles. Sometimes the ingredients are so fresh and flavorful that the recipe just speaks for itself. Welcome to my Osso Buco recipe! This modern Milanese specialty is made with a veal shank braised with vegetables, wine and broth. My variation is enhanced with delicious pomegranate wine by Morad Winery, spicy Italian sausage and a fresh gremolata. This recipe is great because it’s not only delicious but also really cheap to make and serves a ton of people. Basically, the story of this osso buco is that I randomly bought the veal shanks a while back and put them in my freezer. After tons of research for recipes using the shanks, I realized that it wasn’t worth getting too adventurous with the ingredients, rather I should just try to highlight the incredible flavor of the meat and marrow by making something I’d never tried before. So now it’s your turn to try something new and make this osso buco! You won’t even believe how good it tastes.
serves 4, slightly adapted from closetcooking.com
4 veal shanks
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup flour
4 oz. Hot Italian Sausage, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zest only
2 cups Pomegranate Wine (can use any red wine)
2 cups beef stock
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 lemon, zest only
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Before I began cooking, I chopped the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and zested the lemon so everything would be ready for cooking at the same time.
I lightly seasoned the veal with salt and pepper, dredged in the flour, shook off the excess, and set aside. By the way, how pretty is my Valentine’s Day heart-shaped veal shank :)
Now the cooking can begin! I diced the Italian sausage and cooked in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat to release the oils. If you don’t keep Kosher, you can use chopped pancetta instead. I removed the sausage from the pan and added the veal to brown on both sides. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can just use a large oven proof pan.
After a few minutes on each side to brown, I set aside the veal shanks, added a bit of olive oil and sautéed the chopped vegetables, garlic and lemon zest on medium heat. I cooked the vegetables for around 7 minutes, until tender.
I added the pomegranate wine, beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Sure, you could use regular wine, but why would you when you can use the delicious (and strong) pomegranate wine from Morad Winery. Yes, it was 11:30 am when I made the osso buco and yes, I had a glass of wine while I cooked!
I deglazed the pan by scraping my wooden spoon on the bottom of the pan to pick up any stuck brown bits. This will add tons of flavor to the final dish so don’t skip this simple step! I brought the mixture to a simmer.
I added the cooked sausage, veal, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary and brought the mixture to a simmer again.
I covered the Dutch oven and transferred it to a preheated 350 degree oven. The pot was so heavy that the oven shelf was bending! I’d never seen that before so I kept an eye on it. Don’t worry. Nothing broke in the making of this dish.
I cooked the osso buco for an hour and a half. In the meantime, I made the gremolata. I mixed together the parsley, lemon zest, garlic and pine nuts. Done! I set the garnish aside.
Check on the liquid in the Dutch oven after around an hour and if the broth is half way up the veal, add more beef broth. That didn’t happen to me but I figured I should tell you just in case. Check out how beautiful the osso buco looks when it comes out of the oven! Holy cow.
You can just serve the osso buco right out of the Dutch oven but I chose to serve mine over mashed sweet potatoes with the gremolata garnish. The flavor was so fresh, clean and rich! Basically, the osso buco was heaven in my mouth! The sweet potatoes were a nice balance to the deep flavors of the red wine and beef broth, which melded together beautifully in the oven. The veal was practically falling off the bone, melting in my mouth with each bite, and the fresh gremolata adding some lightness to the entire dish.
And if you’re a bone marrow fan, this is the dish for you! The marrow was fatty in all the right ways. I could eat spoonfuls of that stuff!