The origins of Osso Buco can be traced back to the Lombardy region in Northern Italy, where it has been a beloved specialty for centuries. It was first documented in the late 19th century, in a Milanese cookbook. The secret to Osso Buco’s enduring popularity lies in its simple yet exquisite combination of ingredients. Tender veal shanks, aromatic vegetables, white wine, and a gremolata topping create a dish that embodies the essence of Italian comfort food.
- Prepare the veal shanks by patting them dry with paper towels and seasoning them generously with salt and pepper.
- Dredge each veal shank in all-purpose flour, ensuring even coating. Shake off any excess flour.
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the veal shanks on all sides until they develop a golden-brown crust, approximately 4-5 minutes per side. Use tongs to turn the shanks as needed. Once seared, set them aside.
- In the same pot, add diced onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté them over medium heat until they begin to soften and the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour in white wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any flavorful brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Let the wine simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Return the seared veal shanks to the pot. Add chicken or beef broth, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and red pepper flakes (optional). Stir everything together, ensuring the shanks are partially submerged in the liquid.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the Osso Buco simmer gently for about 2 hours. During this time, the veal shanks will become fork-tender, and the flavors will meld beautifully.
- While the Osso Buco is simmering, prepare the gremolata. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped fresh parsley.
- Once the veal shanks are tender, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Plate the Osso Buco by placing a veal shank on each plate, spooning some of the sauce over the top, and finishing with a generous sprinkling of gremolata.
- Osso Buco is traditionally served with a side of creamy risotto, polenta, or a simple gremolata-sprinkled mashed potatoes. A drizzle of the braising liquid over the side dish is a welcome touch.
- Raise a glass of the same white wine you used for cooking, and savor the flavors of Italy with this sumptuous Osso Buco.
Osso Buco is a timeless Italian classic that celebrates the depth and warmth of Italian cuisine. This dish is not only a testament to the culinary heritage of Italy but also a masterpiece in its own right. From the tender veal shanks to the aromatic, wine-infused sauce, Osso Buco is a sensory delight that will make you feel like you’ve just enjoyed a meal in an Italian trattoria.
Now you have the recipe, step-by-step instructions, and the historical context to appreciate the origins of this Italian gem. So, gather your ingredients, let your kitchen be filled with the inviting aroma of Osso Buco, and delight in a true taste of Italy.