Welcome to the 5th day of Hanukkah and the 5th recipe and country for my Hanukkah party around the world. Today we will be visiting the flavors of Italy! I am always fascinated and inspired by world cuisine flavors and today’s recipe is not only one of, but IS my absolute favorite dish ever. Osso buco.
Truth be told, this is the real reason I fell in love with Joe. Perfectly braised veal shank with a 5 hour wine reduction. How could I not? Almost 10 years in and he still melts my heart with this recipe.
If you’re not familiar with osso buco, it literally means “bone with a hole”, as in the shank. The traditional meat served is veal, and let me tell you…if you have any hesitance with veal, just stop reading now! (No, please don’t…there are other options), but I love veal so much. Its a gorgeous type of meat, very tender and full of flavor. Of course I have seen osso buco made with lamb and pork (of you’re not keeping kosher) and those are delicious as well!
There are so many beautiful things about this dish..everything from the 5 hour long wine reduction to the hearty mushrooms and marrow. Oh ya…the marrow…aka “meat butter”. If you have ever wanted to be daring or just enjoy good honest flavors, you better get inside that bone and get every piece of marrow out. Spread it on a toasted baguette and bask in the glory. The glorious thing about Italian food and culture, is that they don’t waste anything. All parts of the animal are used or eaten, so enjoy the marrow and don’t let it go to waste.
Some recipes call for a gremolata to be garnished, which is really a fine chopping of fresh herbs with lemon zest and really brightens up the long-cooked stew. Serve with orzo (which we usually do) or creamy polenta like I did tonight.
- 4 veal shanks
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 Tb whole peppercorns
- 1/2 white onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 2 Tb tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- Small bunch of assorted herbs parsley, fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 cups beef stock low sodium, preferably
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms button or cremini
- Salt pepper to taste
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Small bunch a few stems fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 1 small garlic clove grated
- 1 Tb lemon zest
Heat a large skillet on high and drizzle with olive oil. Season veal shanks with salt and pepper and rub olive oil on both sides. Sear veal shanks on both sides until caramelized and browned. It does not have be to cooked all the way, just seared on the outside. When done, reserve the shanks on a plate and set aside.
In the same pan, pour in red wine and whole peppercorns and bring on high to deglaze the pan. Take your spatula and scrape off the meaty bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce for a few minutes until it gets slightly thicker.
When done, add shanks to slow cooker (or you can use a dutch oven), add chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots, de-glazing liquid, tomato paste, chopped herbs and bay leaves. Pour in 2 cups of beef stock (low sodium, preferably and season with salt and pepper and top everything with sliced mushrooms (so they don't cook as quickly).
If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4-5 hours. If using a dutch oven, bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer and continue to cook for about 4 hours or until the shanks are very tender.
To make gremolata, finely chop parsley leaves and add to a bowl. Use a microplane or small grated to grate lemon zest and grate fresh garlic. Mix everything together and garnish gremolata on top on each serving.
To make polenta please follow this recipe
To serve, plate polenta on the bottom, then add 1 veal shank with some sauce and vegetables and top with gremolata.
Osso buco can be made in either slow cooker or dutch oven.
Polenta recipe includes Parmesan cheese, if you are keeping kosher, please omit that ingredient and substitute heavy cream for soy (or other non-dairy) milk.
And please be sure to visit all the other recipes this week in “Around the world in 8 Hanukkah Days”
Day 1- China: Chinese Beef Stew
Day 2- Peru: Yucca Latkes
Day 3- Poland: Polish Poppy Seed Cake
Day 4- Iran: Adas Polow