Saturday, July 25, 2009

Osso Bucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks)

Ossobucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks) 1

As I said, "The Black Chook" sparkling shiraz from Silver Lake Wine went wonderfully with Osso Bucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks). Actually, osso bucco is supposed to be made with veal, but I used ordinary beef shanks.

I was wandering the grocery store aisle when I saw a small package of beef shanks for only $2.something. So cheap! Of course, I bought it. Mmm. Look at that marrow. That's gonna make the stew so fatty and delicious.

Ossobucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks) 2

I don't have cable, but I was recently in Portland and my parents do, so I caught an episode of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" with Guy Fieri on the Food Network. He was at an Italian restaurant in Arizona and the owner talked about making osso bucco in the oven. I usually prefer to braise on the stove top. So I tried the oven method and baked the shanks for about an hour. The oven didn't tenderize the meat nearly as much as if I had done it on the stove. So onto the stove it went for another hour.

I've never actually eaten osso bucco before, but I seem to be cooking a lot of stews lately and wanted something new. Osso bucco, according to Wikipedia, is a Milanese dish in which the shanks are braised in white wine and topped with gremolata - a mince of garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. I opted for a hybrid version using white wine, tomato paste, and gremolata. Sorry, can't help it. I love tomato paste in stew.

I thought it was merely OK the night I made it. Then I had to go out of town for a few days so it sat forgotten in the fridge. When I came back, my childhood friend came over with the wine and for some girl talk. She wasn't in the mood for going out, so I reheated the osso bucco and made a pot of rice.

Those two days it sat forgotten made all the difference in flavor. Sooo, sooo much better. Not that I'm saying you need to wait a few days to eat this, but it definitely tastes better if you do.

Ossobucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks) 3

Osso Bucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks)

For two servings, you'll need:

2 beef shanks, about 1 lb
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup flour
2 tblsps tomato paste or ketchup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For gremolata:
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley

Dice onion, carrot, and celery. Set aside.

Dust the beef shanks with about 1/4 cup flour.

Then in a pot on high heat, drizzle a bit of olive oil and brown the shanks. Remove the meat from the pot and add diced onion, carrot, and celery. Saute until softened, scrapping the browned bits from the pan.

Add the shanks back into the pot with 1 cup white wine. Add 2 tblsps tomato paste or ketchup, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper.

Add enough water to lightly cover the meat.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, lightly cover, and simmer for at least an hour.

When ready to serve, make gremolata by mixing 1 grated garlic clove, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 tsp dried parsley or 2 tsps fresh parsley. Sprinkle on top of the stew.

Ossobucco (Italian Braised Beef Shanks) 4

Traditionally, osso bucco is served with saffron risotto. I served this with jasmine rice but I imagine Mushroom Risotto with Jasmine Rice would be lovely too.


My other stew recipes that you might like:
Bo Kho (Vietnamese Beef Stew)
Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy)
Ca Ri Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Coq Au Vin (French Chicken with Wine)
Vietnamese-French Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine and Mushrooms

1 year ago today, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Pasadena (Old Town) (Closed).
2 years ago today, Biggest Menu, or how I find a lot of places to eat.


  1. Hmmmm.... that looks really yummy! And you're right, osso buco (that's the correct Italian spelling :P) it's always better the next day!

  2. oh yum! yes i am sure it tasted muchhh better after a few days :) just the way i love it

  3. that marrow looks like a good time. excellent.

  4. Yummy! Great for the colder weather that's starting to come in.

  5. Nico,
    Not sure why, but an extra C gets added when it's spelled in English. Funny!

    It was sooo much better after I got back to it.

    Who knew marrow would become so trendy now?

    Definitely it's a fall/winter type of dish.

  6. This looks amazing, so does your whole blog. Mine was lamb osso bucco. Agree I prefer making it stove top. I think it's same with curry, let it sit and it gets better. Wow, you could write a book with just your FAQ, congrats.

  7. Eleanor,
    Aww, thanks so much! Stews and curries definitely taste best after several days.


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