The appeal of veal shanks that have been allowed to simmer in an oven until their meat falls off the bone and is then served over a soft mound of creamy polenta simply cannot be denied. And let's not forget the spike of pungent Gremolata, that tastes like an exclamation point topping off this masterpiece.
Time consuming? Sure, but consider that once the veal is browned, the vegetables added and combined with the wine, tomatoes and broth, it can cook on its own for a couple of hours.
Serving Osso Buco over risotto is also popular and many restaurants offer it this way, however, over polenta is our presentation of choice. If the sauce seems too thick during cooking, add a bit more chicken broth to thin.
- 6 or 7 veal shanks, 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick
- Flour for dredging
- 1/2 cup or more olive oil as needed to cover the bottom of pan
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, more or less to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, chopped with their juices
- 1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dredge veal shanks in flour and shake off excess. In ovenproof pan, on stove, heat olive oil and brown shanks on both sides over medium heat, do not scorch. Add, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, basil, rosemary and thyme and cook until vegetables soften slightly. Add bay leaf and wine and simmer 5 to 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Add tomatoes and broth, stir to combine.
Place in oven uncovered for 45 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook for another 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until the meat is tender and sauce has thickened. Check occasionally and add additional broth if needed. Cover with aluminum foil if sauce reduces too quickly. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add butter and stir gently. Serve over polenta or risotto and top with a bit of Gremolata (recipe follows).
- 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix first four ingredients together in a bowl, then drizzle the olive oil into mixture. Spoon over Osso Buco and polenta as garnish.