Osso Bucco is an Italian dish that originated in Milan. The name Osso Bucco means “hole in bone”, referring to the bone marrow which is part of the appeal of the dish. It is braised veal shanks and traditionally garnished with “gremolata”.
Gremolata is a condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley. A traditional accompaniment to the hearty veal shanks stew also known as “Osso Bucco alla Milanese”.
The dish has evolved to include a modern and a traditional version. The modern version includes tomatoes and the older version does not. I am going old school with this no tomatoes take on Osso Bucco.
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), diced in 1/4 inch cubes
2-3 pounds veal shanks (4-6 pieces)
1/2 cup diced carrots (1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch cubes)
1 medium diced onion (1/4 inch pieces)
2 tablespoons (about 4 cloves) chopped garlic
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1-2 cups chicken or veal stock
Flour for dusting the meat before browning
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons minced flat (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1. In a pot, cook pancetta, stirring occasionally. When the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered (about 5 minutes of cooking), remove the pancetta to a plate covered with some paper towels and set aside. If necessary, drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
2. Season the veal shanks well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks through some flour, shake off any excess, and add the meat to the hot fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and cook meat on each side until well browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the shanks to a plate, set aside.
3. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Cook the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes) and toss in the garlic and thyme. Continue cooking until the vegetables just begin to brown (about 10 minutes).
4. Add the shanks and the pancetta back to the pan. Pour in the wine, and then add enough stock to come on little more than half way up the side of the shanks. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the meat is tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. (Also can be cooked in the oven if you prefer using a heavy Dutch oven pot.)
5. Combine the gremolata ingredients, place in a separate serving dish.
6. Serve with rice, risotto or polenta. Sprinkle with gremolata.
Adapted from a recipe by www.simplyrecipes.com.