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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Classic Osso Buco

Italian food?  Pizza, pasta, we are all familiar with these dishes but Osso buco may unfamiliar territory for some.  For myself, it doesn't get more Italian than this.  Veal shanks or veal leg cut across the bone slowly braised to perfection has long been one of my favorites.  Classic Italian flavors of tomatoes, carrots, celery and onion all simmering together in a wine bath....
Aside from the super tender fall off the bone meat in osso buco the appeal is the bone itself. The bone contains the marrow which when cooked this way creates something indescribably magical.  The texture of the marrow is soft and it becomes infused with all the flavors of the dish but also gives great flavor in return.
Some people may get turned off by thought of eating the marrow ( always try something once) but you can just eat the meat .
The result from this recipe is meat that melts in your mouth surrounded by succulent veggies all swimming in a wonderful sauce.  A simple recipe that creates a real symphony of Italian flavor!

4-6 veal shank steaks approx 1 inch thick
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup red wine
3 carrots diced
2 potatoes diced
2 celery stalks diced
1 large onion diced
3 bay leaves
all purpose flour for dredging meat
salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 350*f

Dredge shanks lightly with flour and fry in olive oil until browned on both sides, place in a roasting pan.
Saute all veggies in same pan until slightly soft approx 8 minutes.  Add sauce and wine and cook an additional 5 minutes
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour veggies over veal shanks in roasting pan and add the bay leaves.
Cover and place in oven for approx. 1 hour.
Remove cover and roast for 25 minutes.
The osso buco should be fork tender with a thick sauce and tender veggies.
This dish can be eaten on its own , with plain white rice added to the sauce  or a risotto milanese. Enjoy!

prep time 10 minutes
total cooking time  1 hour 45 minutes

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