Osso Buco is a classic dish in which veal, lamb or beef shanks are slow braised in aromatics and cooking liquid. The long braising time results in a tender rich meat. The dish is further enhanced by the release of bone marrow into the cooking liquid. This version of Osso Buco uses beef shanks and dry white wine. Pictured is the finished Osso Buco ala Milanese.
All-purpose flour for dredging (about 1/2 cup)
4 meaty veal or beef shanks (about 3 - 3 1/2 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 strips orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
1/2 cup veal or chicken stock
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes with juice
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Season the shanks with salt and pepper on all sides and then dredge in flour, shaking away excess. Heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven. When oil is hot brown the shanks (see photo at right), turning with tongs until both sides are well caramelized, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer shanks to a large platter and set aside.
Discard the fat from the pan and wipe with paper towles. Return to low heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables become soft. Stir in garlic, orange zest, marjoram and bay leaf. Continue cooking for two minutes.
Add the wine and increase the heat to high, bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, to reduce the wine by about half, 5 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, with their juice, and boil again to reduce the liquid to about 1 cup total.
Return the shanks to the pot and pour any juices that accumlated as the sat back in the pot. Cover pot with lid and place in preheated oven. Without disturbing the meat check occasional to make sure the liquid is simmering slowly, not boiling. Occassionaly spoon some of the pan juices over the shanks. Continue cooking on low simmer until meat is completely tender and pulling from the bone.
Remove shanks from cooking liquid and place on platter. Tent loosely with foil. Return the pot to the stove and simmer, reducing volume slightly. Taste for flavor and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve shanks with reduced braising liquid.