Thursday, 7 February 2008

Italian Cookery Course: Osso Buco

This recipe is adapted from the one I was taught at my Italian cookery course by Francis Adou.

Osso buco (or Ossobuco or Osso Bucco!) originates from Milan, and is traditionally a dish of braised veal shanks - in fact that is where it gets its name: the shank is called in Italian osso buco, literally 'hole bone'!

It was traditionally made without tomatoes and sprinkled with gremolata, a mix of parsley, garlic and lemon peel. It was then served with risotto alla milanese - a creamy saffron risotto. Since the addition of tomatoes in the late 19th century, the flavour of the osso buco is far moister and bolder - polenta is a more appropriate accompaniment. Though I am definitely going to have a go at making risotto alla milanese - sounds lovely, and I haven't cooked risotto for months! When I made this at home I cooked it with rosemary and garlic potatoes - mostly because that it what I had at in the cupboard!

Traditionally the meat would be from the veal shank - cut across the bone into 3cm slices. In this version, we used diced, boneless veal - it can also be made with other meats - although the veal was delicious, I won't cook with it again. I think I would replace it with lamb, though beef shank would also work well.

Details from wikipedia!

Osso Buco with Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes

Osso Buco

  • 400g diced veal
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 glass white wine
  • Vegetable bouillion
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • olive oil and butter for frying
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
Season the veal with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then toss in the flour to coat - shaking off any excess.

Melt the butter and oil in a pan, and cook the veal until coloured on all sides. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for 2/3 minutes until the onion is starting to soften. Add the carrot and celery and sweat for a further 5 minutes. If there is a lot of fat in your pan at this point you can drain it off.

Deglaze the pan by pouring in the glass of white wine, and scrubbing off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan off with your spoon. Add the stock and tomato puree, cover and simmer gently for one hour - ideally in an oven. I don't have a measurement for how much stock to add, but the liquid should cover the veal for the duration of the simmer.

While the veal is cooking, prepare your concasse tomatoes:
Place the tomatoes in a bowl, and cover with water.
Remove the skins, quarter and discard the seeds.
Roughly chop the tomato flesh.

Once the cooking time is up, add the concasse to the veal, taste and adjust seasoning as required. Cover and return to oven to cook until the meat is tender (for me, this was about 15 minutes)

Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes

  • As much potatoes as you want to eat
  • Garlic to taste (I used one clove per person)
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
To prepare the potatoes, I diced them into 2cm chunks and parboiled for about 5 minutes. I then left them to drain for about 10 minutes to ensure the surfaces were as dry as possible.

I heated a little butter and olive oil in an oven suitable pan, and chucked in the potatoes. I fried them over a high heat for 5/6 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes. Just before the end, I tossed in the crushed garlic, finely chopped rosemary, and some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

I then put the whole thing into a hot oven for about 20 minutes - tossing half way through.

Serve the osso buco alongside the potatoes, with some chopped parsely over the top.

Related Posts