Serves 4 This classic Italian dish from Milan is centered around braised cross-sections of veal shanks. The shanks are typically dredged, browned and braised with white wine and vegetables, and then are served with saffron risotto. When these large donuts of once-tough meat – each surrounding their very own luscious section of marrow bone – are cooked low and slow for about an hour-and-a-half in the simple yet extraordinary gravy-to-be, the resulting meat is simply divine. When finished with a little minced fresh parsley and refreshing lemon zest just before serving, the seemingly heavy dish becomes light and bright in every bite!
- 4 “Ossobucco” cuts of Veal Shank; large, uniform in size (2 small shanks will equate to a portion)
- To Taste: Kosher or Sea Salt
- To Taste: Black Pepper, freshly ground
- As Needed: All- purpose Flour, for dredging
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, medium-sized, small dice
- 2 ribs of Celery; trimmed, small dice
- 2 Carrots; large, small dice
- 1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste, heaping
- 1/2 bottle White Wine; dry, such as un-oaked Chardonnay
- As Needed: Chicken Broth (to bring liquid level up ¾ height of meat)
- 1/2 cup Tomato; ripe, diced
- 1/4 cup Parsley, fresh, minced
- 1 Lemon; fresh, zest of
- Season veal shanks liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge the shanks in just enough flour to coat. Shake off excess.
- Preheat a straight-sided frying pan with a tight-fitting lid (one that is slightly bigger than the veal shank slices when laid flat). Add oil and swirl to coat the pan’s surface. Over medium-high heat, sear the meat on both sides until golden brown (approximately 4 minutes per side). Do not burn, but do brown well, as this will equate to a much more flavorful sauce. Once browned, remove to a platter and keep warm.
- Reduce the heat to medium, being careful to not burn the wonderful browned bits on the bottom of the pan and quickly add the onions, celery and carrots. Cook the vegetables until they are al dente and beginning to brown slightly. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Cook, stirring often, until the paste and vegetables begin to take on a deeper rust color. This is the caramelization of the tomato paste. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Using a non-metallic spoon or high-temp spatula, scrape the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan, mixing them into the wine, and cook until the wine has reduced by three-quarters.
- Return the browned veal shanks to the pan and add just enough chicken broth to come to the top of the meat. Bring the pan to a momentary boil and then quickly reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer once the lid is on. Slowly cook the ossobucco for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, carefully flipping the meat about halfway through that time, until the meat is super tender. (At no time should the meat boil or it may get tough.) Once the meat is ready to serve, remove the lid and add the tomato dice, lemon zest and chopped parsley. The meat is now ready to serve with its wonderful sauce over your choice of pasta, mashed potatoes or the classic Risotto Milanese!