I have braised many a meat in my time, but for some reason, I’d never made Osso Buco at home until last week. That’s why it was a perfect 30×30 addition. Like all braised dishes, this turns out flavorful, hearty, fall-off-the-bone tender. All of that with minimal effort!
If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of some pork fat in soups and braised dishes. :) Bacon and pancetta, even when just using a minimal amount, add so much flavor to dishes. I went with pancetta here (you know, keeping it I-talian and all). I decided to leave the pancetta in the Dutch oven as the veal shanks braised, but if you want to keep them a little crisper you can remove them after cooking and just add them on top of the completed dish.
I asked for a couple of smaller veal shanks, so depending on how big yours are the recipe below may serve more than 2. The gremolata is optional, but it adds a little freshness to the dish, so I’m in favor of incorporating it.
This was absolutely delicious and I’m so glad I finally made this at home. I served it with some creamy polenta, but it would be delicious over risotto or mashed cannelini beans.
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1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 oz. pancetta, chopped
2 small veal shanks
flour (about 3 Tbsp.) for dredging
1 small carrot, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
1/4 cup diced onion
1 sprig rosemary
1 small plum tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1.5 cups (approximately) chicken stock
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. lemon zest
Heat a small Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the oil. Once hot, add the pancetta and cook until crisp and it has rendered its fat. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Leave about 1 Tbsp. of fat in the pan.
Season the flour with some salt and pepper. Pat the veal shanks dry and then dredge them in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Add to the hot Dutch oven and brown on all sides. Remove.
To the pot, add the carrot, celery, onion, rosemary, tomato, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat slightly, and then add the wine. Reduce by half.
Add the chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste. Place the veal shanks and the pancetta back into the pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer over low heat for 1.5-2 hours, turning occasionally, and adding more stock if necessary (the liquid should come about halfway up the shanks).
To make the gremolata, combine the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the plated veal shanks.