Osso Buco is simply an old Milanese dish of veal shanks braised with wine and vegetables. However, since I have a freezer full of beef that’s what I’m using. I think the beef gives ita richness and makes it slightly more substantial.
The best thing about osso buco is that it doesn’t require a lot of attention and it makes the house smell great. In that respect, it’s a great dish for a dinner party. You’re still able to mingle and have a glass of wine (or two) and the dinner is served hot and delicious. I served mine with a parmesan polenta and spinach, walnut and pear salad with a basil-pomegranate dressing. Delicioso!
- 3 or 4 beef shanks (about 4 pounds)
- ½ cup flour for dredging
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 Tble avocado or pecan oil
- 2 cups Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14oz can tomato puree
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups hearty red wine
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 Tble fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 325˚. Salt and pepper the beef shanks. Dredge meat in flour. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof dutch oven or cast-iron dutch oven. When oil is hot brown meat on both sides, working in batches if you have to so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove meat from oil and set aside. In the hot oil (adding a little more if you need to) cook the onion, celery and carrot until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Add tomato puree, beef stock, red wine and aromatics. Stir well and bring to a boil. Replace meat into dutch oven, pushing down to make sure meat is covered by liquid. Remove from heat, cover well and place in the middle rack of the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove from oven and check liquid level. If you need to, add more wine and stock. Replace lid and cook in the oven another hour until sauce is thick and meat is falling off the bone. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with polenta, noodles or the traditional Milanese risotto.