Osso Buco

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A wonderful, classic Italian dish and probably my favorite way to cook veal.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 Hour

Difficulty:
Serves:

Ingredients

3 lbs Veal Shanks
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T butter or Butter Buds
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
½ green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large stalk celery, coarsely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Two shallots, finely diced
1/3 cup Marsala wine (or dry sherry, or for something really interesting a vinho verde)
1/3 cup brandy
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T tomato paste
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups Of my chicken stock

Serve with my gremolata

Method

In a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, add 2 T olive oil over medium high heat. Season shanks with salt and pepper on both sides, then brown them on all sides. When browning is down, remove the shanks to a bowl to be added back in later.

In the same pan, reduce heat to low and add 2 T olive oil and butter or Butter Buds.

Add the onions, peppers, carrots, shallots, celery and garlic. Stir well to coat, then cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. (This will allow the vegetables to release their juices.

Add the Marsala or sherry and the brandy, also the balsamic vinegar. Stir in well, cover again, and let simmer on low for about 6-8 minutes.

Make a “bouquet garni” out of the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. (Wrap them in cheese cloth and tie with cooking twine.) Add this to the simmering vegetables, along with the tomato paste. Increase heat to medium-high and add the shanks and chicken, veal or beef stock. Stir both in well to mix with vegetables.

When broth is boiling, reduce heat to low again and cover. Cook for about 1-1 ½ hours. Veal should be “falling off the bone” tender after an hour or less. Lamb or beef might take a full hour and a half to reach maximum tenderness. Falling off the bone is probably not going to happen with lamb or beef, but the meat should be very tasty and quite tender.

Garnish with gremolata, and serve the osso buco with any one of my wonderful vegetable side dishes. It goes especially good with a fine risotto.

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