“Thank you, thank you very much. I’m here ’til Thursday. Try the veal.”~Shrek
I’ve wasn’t the biggest fan of Veal until I had Osso Buco. It was about 15 years ago when I was a server at this upscale Italian restaurant in Downtown Denver that I found love for this easy and savory dish. The restaurant isn’t there anymore, though it did win the ‘Best Pasta in Denver’ award back in the 90′s, according to Westword Magazine. Sigh. I loved the food there…
Anyway, seeing as I wasn’t a food lover yet (as I am now), I hadn’t even heard of Osso Buco, or 1/2 the other stuff they had on the menu for that matter, when I started working there. So needless to say, I had to do some quick studying. And part of my studies was to try everything on the menu. Well, you could imagine my glee when they broke that news to us at one of our pre-opening staff meetings. (I was hired prior to the restaurant opening, so all of us were in the same boat for the most part).
Once I had learned what the main ingredient was for Osso Buco, I wanted no part of it. I had had veal before, and the taste left me **not happy**. At all.
But I was told that I just had to sample it, as I had to describe it to our future patrons. So I did. And I luuurved it!! The veal was nothing like I’d had in the past. Not veal-y, if that makes any sense. Or at least not a veal-y taste that I’d taste in the past. I know. Confusing.
Bottom line, it was great.
This is kind of a recipe that I’d received from a sweet elderly Italian lady that used to work at Saks when I was the general office manager. She used to work in the alterations department, and one day she had hurt her back, and working in that department only made it worse, so she came to my department and worked for me for a few months. We got to know each other, and when she found out that I loved to cook, and loved Italian food, she wrote down so many recipes for me! Oh, I loved her.
I’ve changed it a bit, as there were alot of herbs in there. A great recipe overall, but overly herby for my taste. Once I added my changes, my son and I liked it so much more. Thank you very much.
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs veal shank (tell your butcher that you’d like them prepped for osso buco)
1/4 cup a/p flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med onion, chopped small
2 stalks celery, chopped small
2 carrots, cubed small
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (either canned or fresh)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock + more if needed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the butter/olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Blot any moisture from the shanks and season with salt and pepper. Dust them in the flour and brown the shanks on all sides. Remove the shanks to a large baking dish in a single layer. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce to about half. In a separate pan over medium heat, add the garlic, onion, celery and carrots with a bit of butter and let cook until softened.
Pour the wine over the shanks. Top the shanks with the vegetables, and the tomatoes. Pour enough chicken stock over the shanks and veggies to come to the top of the shanks but not covered. Place the herbs in the center and on top of the shanks and veggies, as these will be removed before serving (you can also wrap them in cheesecloth, but I find that it’s not necessary).
Cover and cook in a 300 degree oven for 3 1/2 hours. Once done, remove and discard the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Top with a generous amount of Gremolata before serving.
1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley
zest from 1 lemon, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Mix the three ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle on Osso Buco, fish, or other meat dishes.
Also, you can add to sour cream for a tasty dip for veggies!