There’s no tricky technique involved when cooking osso buco. The steps are simple, the cooking is long and slow, and the end result is succulent meat that falls off the bone.
Osso bucco means bone with hole, and refers to the “cut of meat” used for this popular Italian dish. Thick slices are cut through the shinbone of veal or beef. I’ve used the more traditional veal in my recipe but have also cooked it with beef, which is just as delicious and a cheaper option to veal.
The combination of meat and bone means deep, rich flavours develop in the sauce. White wine can be substituted for the more robust red and two tins of crushed tomatoes will do the job if you don’t have passata (passata is also known as sugo, it’s a smooth, pureed tomato sauce). I’ve used rosemary and bay leaves for my herbs but feel free to substitute with fresh thyme or even fresh oregano.
Although there’s rarely left overs from this dish, on the odd occasion that there are, osso buco makes a wonderful pasta sauce the next day. Pick the meat from the bone and slice into chunks and re heat in the sauce with a dash of water. Cook your favourite pasta shape to al dente and toss with the osso buco sauce.
For those of us in the middle of winter, I say ” turn the oven on, get a pot of osso buco cooking, and sit back and await the joy that is slow cooking”
Veal osso buco
8 x pieces of veal osso buco
Plain flour to dust
6 French shallots (or 1 large red onion diced)
6 cloves garlic, halved
3 large sprigs rosemary
3 fresh bay leaves
1 cup red wine
1 x 700g bottle of tomato passata
1 cup beef stock
Pre heat oven to 150C or 130C fan forced. Season veal with salt and pepper then lightly dust veal with flour. Heat an oven proof casserole dish with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Seal veal in two batches till lightly coloured on all sides. Set veal aside on a tray.
Use the same pot with out washing it, heat 1 tbsp oil, add shallots, carrots, and garlic. Cook gently for 2 minutes. Add red wine, rosemary and bay leaves and reduce for 2 minutes.
Add beef stock, tomato passata and a large pinch of black pepper. Return veal to pan and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, place in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
Serve osso bucco with mash potato and steamed peas.