I learned to make Osso Buco about 8 or 9 years ago. It's a rare treat these days, because finding veal shanks in a retail environment in the lower Rio Grande Valley is not easy. I've checked HEB, Wal-mart, Mata's, Blue Marlin...no veal shanks on any of the days I visited. <huge sigh>
So, when I get to Austin, I buy the precious goods and save them, carefully vacuum sealed and frozen, for the perfect day, when it is chilly and my husband is home, to prepare Osso Buco (veal is expensive and only he makes it worth the effort and expense of this dish!).
I know you could make this with beef shanks...but I haven't tried it yet. Everything I've read, says it just isn't as good with beef shank. So, if you know a LOCAL source for veal...please, please, please share with me (I know I can order it online).
This recipe is based on a couple of different recipes I mixed and mashed to make my own. It is f**king delicious. That's all I'll say. And, with that, here it is.
MY OSSO BUCO
Olive Oil - enough to cover bottom of Dutch Oven
Flour - for dredging the shanks
Sea Salt - fine grind for this, not kosher
Fresh ground pepper
4 veal shanks - the meatiest you can find - cut 4 to 5 inches thick
4 carrots - cut into bite-sized chunks
2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 large sweet onion - chopped
1 28-oz can good quality whole peeled tomatoes - remove from juice - chop - return to juice
1 1/2 quarts beef stock - I prefer the cartons - Organic if I can get it
1 cup Pinot Grigio (any good crisp white wine - one you would serve with dinner)
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced
3 or 4 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade plus more for sprinkling over the dish when served
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the shanks by tying them around the outside with butcher's string.
Season flour with fine sea salt and ground pepper.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven (oil should just cover the bottom of the pan)
Dredge veal shanks in flour, add shanks to Dutch oven and brown, turning frequently to get a good light brown crust...takes between 6-8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add carrots, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, and 1 quart of beef stock. Cover and let simmer about 45-50 minutes. Add the wine, the diced fresh tomatoes, the basil, and the remaining 1/2 quart stock to the pan. Place in 375 degree oven for about 1 hour... or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Snip the butcher's twine and remove from pot before serving. The meat should be falling off the bone and melt in your mouth tender.
If you are a fan, I hear the marrow is awesome - I always serve the bone. I just can't go there personally...I love what it adds to the dish - but I can't spoon the marrow out of the bone...just can't! I plan for 1 shank per person being served. I sprinkle chopped basil over the dish when I plate it (or bowl it - I usually serve in a low pasta bowl). I have always served this ladled over risotto - I have an awesome recipe for risotto that I'll post tomorrow. Some crusty bread on the side...this dish has never let me down!
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!