Sometimes there is nothing better than staying in and enjoying a home-cooked meal when the weather turns cold and gray. Osso Bucco is a perfect fireplace with a glass of wine-type meal.
Rich and hearty with robust flavors, it’s made with braised beef shank, making the meal ill-suited to summer. Any cooler days from spring to fall are perfect, so check the weather forecast and plan a night with delicious food.
What Is Osso Bucco (Braised Beef Shanks)
In Italian, “Osso Bucco” means bone with a hole. When you look at beef shanks, the hole is the depression where the bone is full of marrow.
The traditional Italian version uses veal shanks, but I much prefer the beef shanks version. Not to mention, beef shanks are cost-effective compared to veal, so you get the same great taste for a cheaper price!
Osso Bucco - Braised Beef Shanks
- 1 sprig Fresh thyme
- 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
- 1 Dry bay leaf
- 2 Whole cloves
- Kitchen twine (tying the bouquet garni and beef shanks)
- 3 Whole trimmed beef shanks (about 1 lb each)
- Sea/Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cups All-purpose flour in a dish or bowl for dredging (use more as needed)
- ½ cups Cooking oil
- 1 stalk Celery, diced into ½in cubes
- 1 Small carrot, diced into ½in cubes
- 1 Small onion, diced into ½in cubes
- 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
- 1 cup Dry white wine
- 3 cups Chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- Prepare the veal for a proper braise. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel because braising will not work with excess moisture. We want the meat to brown and produce a fond (the brown bits that liquid deglazes).
- Tie the twine on to keep the meat on the bone. Season with salt and pepper and dredge the meat through the flour. Cover everything and shake any excess flour off.
- Use a large thick pot, such as a Dutch oven. A big enough cast iron skillet works too, but you need a lid. Preheat and bring a dash of oil or cooking fat, such as lard, up to the point where a little smoke rises. The oil should cover the bottom.
- Brown the shanks on all sides, about three minutes per side. Then, remove the shanks and set them aside for later.
- Now is when mise en place (a term meaning getting everything ready) helps. We already have a piping hot pot, so add the vegetables and season with salt. You can introduce more pepper if you like and stir frequently.
- Drop a little reserve oil if you think the vegetables need a bit more. Saute until the vegetables are soft, and the onions are translucent for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Put in the tomato paste and keep stirring to mix. At this point, you should have brown bits, called fond, on the bottom of the pot. If these bits begin to turn too dark, deglaze with white wine, even if you are early. The end product will be the same, and you will not have a burned taste.
- Return the shanks to the pot and deglaze with the wine. Reduce the wine by half for about five minutes. Add the bouquet garni and two cups of the stock and bring to a boil.
- When it starts to boil, bring the heat down to a low simmer for approximately 1.5 hours and cover the pot. Once the meat falls off the bone, the dish is ready.
- Check every 15 minutes. Add a bit of stock when the level drops below ¾ of the height of the shanks. Turn the meat as necessary.
- After the cooking finishes, remove the shanks, cut off the twine, and remove the bouquet garni. Place the beef in a nice bowl and ladle everything on top. Then, place the lemon zest and fresh parsley.
- Eat immediately after serving. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks for Osso Bucco Braised Beef Shanks Recipe
Check these three tips to make the most out of your experience cooking Osso Bucco.
The bouquet garni is a culinary technique and an optional step when making Osso Bucco. If cheesecloth and butcher’s twine are too much of a hassle, you can use a bay leaf and remove it before serving.
You could also sprinkle on some dried or fresh thyme and rosemary. Work with whatever you have on hand. For instance, you have the option to add a couple of cloves and remove them later, so long as it isn’t tedious for you.
Once the cooking starts, a few parts move fast, so I recommend preparing with mise en place.
In this case, we want to cut all the vegetables in advance. Have all the ingredients prepared and set out nearby, like the wine and stock. Be sure to have your measuring cup ready.
Look for meat with attractive marbling. Osso Bucco is a dish where the meat should be moist. The marbling breaks down and becomes juicy.
Nutrition Information of Osso Bucco Braised Beef Shanks Recipe
Vegetables lose a lot of vitamins but maintain some minerals when cooked. Our cooked vegetables will only provide some trace minerals. The fresh ingredients are limited to lemon zest and parsley garnishes.
Osso Bucco’s chief ingredient is the beef shank. Every three oz contains 171 calories, of which 28% is fat, 0% is carbs, and 67% is protein. Other notable contents are niacin 31% DV (daily value), zinc 81%, and vitamin B12 134%. Iron, vitamin B6, and phosphorus make up 18% each.
Lemon zest has a negligible amount of vitamin C. Tomato paste has 29% potassium.
Parsley has 36 calories per 100 grams with 15% potassium, 13% fiber, 221% vitamin C, 34% Iron, 12% magnesium, and 13% calcium.
In my opinion, Osso Bucco is a dish everyone needs to experience. Once you get a few hands-on steps out of the way, this beef shank dish is perfect for multitasking because you only have to drop by every 15 minutes.
This was really very good.
Great recipe! Fun to read all the reviews.