Sunday, 15 June 2014

Osso Buco

Still winter, and I'm still craving those yummy sticky warming dishes. Here's one I've never made before: osso buco, a Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks. I was inspired by seeing a cheap pack of ox-tail at the butcher's, and figured a cow's tail is probably pretty similar to a calf's leg. I followed this recipe from and it was pretty yummy and very rich. So much so that we only had fairly small servings -- one large piece of ox-tail per meal was more than enough. So this recipe would serve six people, or maybe four if they've been hill-walking or ice climbing!

Osso buco
  • 1kg veal shanks or ox-tail
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 medium carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, thickly sliced
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes
  • a glass of dry white wine
  • 250ml beef stock (cube/powder is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, mint)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
In a deep casserole dish with a lid, toss the veal shanks in flour and fry briefly to caramelise. (Or skip, if you're strapped for time). Chuck everything else in, stir well, and cook, just simmering, for about six hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone and the vegetables have disintegrated into a thick sauce. Check every so often to make sure it's not burning.

Combine the gremolata ingredients and serve on top of the osso buco, on a big pile of fluffy mash or gooey polenta.

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