Friday, August 24, 2012

Osso Buco

Osso buco - Italian for bones with holes. Usually made with veal shanks or beef bones. I made my dinner last night for the family using beef. Osso Buco typically incorporates a thick sauce made with onions, carrots, and tomatoes.
The first step is to brown the meat. It's sort of a caramelization. Browning the meat seals in all the flavor.

You will need the following items:
A Le Creuset

or deep broiling pan
A large mixing bowl
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
4-6 pieces of veal or beef shanks / bones
4-5 tbs. of canola or vegetable oil
and salt and pepper.
Place the oil in the pan and heat oil over medium heat.
Place flour in bowl. You can add 2-3 tsps. full of salt and pepper to the flour or you can season each piece of meat individually.
Flour the bones on all sides and shake off excess flour.
Brown bones in the oiled pan on all sides until lightly browned.
Let rest at room temperature.

Now for the thick sauce.
You can buy a braising sauce from an Italian specialty store  or from a food store such as William Sonoma.

Braising sauces come fully prepared in quart size containers and all you need to do is add it to the meat with equal parts - water. Just make sure that the combination sauce and water, equally mixed together covers the bones.

You can make a homemade sauce from the following ingredients:
2 peeled, diced, de- seeded ripened tomatoes (tomatoes can be grilled for extra flavor)
1 diced onion
1 diced carrot
2tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. of sugar
1 tsp. of thyme
1tbs. of minced garlic or garlic powder
1tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon wine (only the good stuff you would drink!)
1/2 cup of beef stock
2 tbs. of corn syrup
Blend all well in a mixer. For a thicker sauce add more carrots, onions, and tomatoes.

Place veal or beef bones in a slow cooker with 2 boxes of beef stock and osso buco sauce.
Cook  covered for 2 - 3 hours over high temp.
For oven cooking, place bones in a broiling pan or large pyrex, cover with beef stock and sauce.
For beef stock, check my earlier blog on how to make your own beef stock.
Or you can buy it from Swanson:

or Knorr:

For concentrate, add water as recommended. Follow instructions. Low sodium is the best.
It allows you the opportunity to season your dish +/- to your taste without adding additional salt.

Cook at 325 degrees for 2.5 hours.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice. Add sauteed carrots, peas or pearl onions.
For gravy, take 1 cup of the liquid from the dish, skim of excess fat.
Place the liquid in a shallow pan. Cook over medium heat. Wisk in 1 tsp. of corn starch and
2-3 tbs. of heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2.

I love this. I could eat it in my sleep. Plus it makes my whole house smell like a
warm and delightful restaurant in Tuscany.

Eat,drink, and be merry...



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