Comfort food! Winter to me is food like soups, stews, sauces – low and slow cooking. I chose a restaurant favorite – Amarone Osso Bucco. After cooking for several hours, the meat is tender and juicy literally falling off of the bone. Tonight I used Tyler Florence’s version of this family favorite. Can you believe I didn’t actually change a thing? I think it was because I had never made Osso Bucco before and thought I should trust an expert.
Even though I didn’t change anything, I do have some helpful hints:
- Follow the recipe carefully.
- Be sure to cook wine until it has reduced by half. The key to this recipe is layering the flavors.
- Make the gremolata while you are cooking everything. It’s easier after cooking for so long.
- Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.
- Save this recipe for a special occasion because veal shanks are expensive – or – keep an eye out at your local CostCo.
- Buy two bottles of the Amarone you chose for the recipe – it will go nicely when you serve dinner.
- Keep the extra toasted pine nuts – they are a yummy topping for salads.
It does take a while to cook this recipe, but it’s worth it! Very rich, deep flavors – so stoke up the fire and pour a glass of Amarone!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pieces of veal shank for osso bucco
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
- 1 head garlic, cut horizontally through the middle
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bottle Amarone wine
- 1 (14 ½ ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed
- Cranberry Gremolata:
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 orange, zest finely grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Get in the habit of always testing your flour; once it coats the veal it is harder to adjust the seasoning. Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the veal shanks, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned veal shanks to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You’re going to use that to create your sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using the same pot, sauté the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the veal shanks back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and ½ hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the veal tender and nearly falling off the bone.
- Remove bay leaves.
- For the gremolata. Finely chope the pine nuts, dried cranberries and combine. Combine this with the garlic together in a mini chopper or with a mortar and pestle. Fold that into the orange zest and parsley. Scatter the gremolata over the Osso bucco before serving.