Osso buco (veal shanks) with gremolata
There are many versions of the classic Northern Italian favorite, osso buco. This one uses slow oven braising to make the meat flavorful, fork tender, and moist.
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2 whole veal shanks (about 1 pound per shank), trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon canola oil (plus extra, if needed)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (plus extra, if needed)
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon anchovy paste (or 4 anchovy fillets, minced)
1 cup dry white wine*
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs Italian parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dry)
2 small bay leaves (or 1 large)
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For the gremolata:
1/4 cup minced Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
Kitchen twine, for tying the veal shanks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the veal shanks dry with paper towels. Truss each shank with kitchen twine around the outside (a single strand will do). Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper and dredge them in flour, shaking off excess.
Heat a Dutch oven or lidded ovenproof skillet large enough to hold shanks in a single layer over a medium-high flame. Add 1 tablespoon each of canola oil and butter to the pan, swirling to combine. Brown shanks on both sides, about 5 minutes for the first side and 3 to 4 for the second. Transfer browned shanks to plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, carrot and celery to pan, also adding a little more oil and butter, if necessary. Sauté vegetables until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Return shanks to pan, along with any accumulated juices. Add 2 cups of chicken stock; liquid should come about two-thirds of the way up the sides of the shanks (add a little more if needed). Tuck parsley and thyme sprigs around the shanks, along with the bay leaves.
Cover pan and place in oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 30 minutes or so to see if you need to add more broth.
Meanwhile make the gremolata. Combine ingredient in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Carefully transfer the cooked shanks to a serving platter. Cut off the kitchen twine and discard. Discard the parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Spoon juices from the pot over and around shanks. Garnish with gremolata. Serve.
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* The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best food bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.