An out-of-control, restaurant-quality Osso Buco (Italian for "hole in the bone") is easier than you might think. Fabio shows how to sear a meat shank in a cast iron pot and braises his masterpiece to a glorious finish in the oven.
- Secrets to braising. Sear the meat first! Crispy caramelization on the outside of the meat makes every bite worthwhile. Whether you use veal, pork, or beef shanks, you should only braise meats when there is a good amount of marbled fat in between the muscle. Braising a filet mignon would be ridiculous! Cooking the meat low and slow lets the proteins break down to tender perfection.
- Osso Buco sauce: the sauce of kings. Because you use a bone-in cut, the bone marrow helps create collagen during the cooking process, which add silkiness to the sauce. Because braising makes strong flavors more mild, be bold with the seasoning! Ingredients like orange peel and lots of garlic add to the density and complexity.
- Never allow your braising liquid to come to a boil, or your meat will quickly get tough.
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 4-6 servings
¼ cup extra light olive oil
6 butchered veal shanks, about 2 inches thick (pork or beef shanks can also be substituted)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine for deglazing
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 bay leaf
5 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
5 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
2 strips orange peel
zest of 1 orange, freshly grated
3 stalks Italian parsley, minced
For the demi-glace:
2 gallons beef stock reduced to 2 quarts
1 Tablespoon of flour
½ stick of butter
For the demi-glace: reduce the beef stock and add flour and butter to thicken. Reserve at a gentle boil.
Preheat oven to 325°.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
Coat veal shanks in flour, making sure to shake off any excess flour.
Sear the shanks in the hot oil until golden on both sides, remove to a plate, and set aside.
Add onion, celery, and carrots to the searing oil. Stir to coat, and cook three minutes.
Add bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and stir.
Add strips of orange peel.
De-glaze with white wine to loosen any bits sticking to the pan.
Sauté for another five minutes, or until vegetables are softened and liquid is mostly reduced.
Add garlic and tomato paste; cook 3-5 more minutes.
Pour the sauce into a large baking dish; make sure the bottom of the dish is completely covered.
Top sauce with the shanks, and pour the demi-glace, covering the shanks.
Cover the top of baking dish tightly: first with parchment paper, then with aluminum foil.
Bake at 350° for at least 2 hours, or until the veal shanks are tender and falling off the bone.
Carefully open the foil cover, releasing the steam away from you.
Place shanks on plate and cover with sauce.
Top with freshly grated orange zest and Italian parsley.