The end result of this basic osso buco recipe is pure meaty awesomeness, but it does take awhile to get there. The veal shank starts out as tough as a Converse hi-top; you've gotta braise it nice and slow to get it to that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Plate it on top of a perfectly made risotto, serve it with a full-bodied Italian red to pay homage to osso buco's roots (it supposedly originated in Milan) and pat yourself on the back for a meal well made.
- 4 veal shanks, patted dry
- all-purpose flour, for dredging
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine, dry
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 cups chicken or beef stock
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, for garnish
- vegetable oil for cooking
- lemon zest, for garnish
- Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
- In a large pot with a lid that fits, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add the veal shanks and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.
- In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook for about a minute more.
- Return the shanks to the pan and add the wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and 2 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
- Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the meat.
- Remove the shanks carefully from the pot as the meat could slip right off the bone. Serve with juices and sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest.