Ossobuco

Serving these braised, practically falling off the bone tender veal shanks with saffron infused Risotto alla Milanese Risotto alla Milanese is not only a classic flavor pairing from Milan but also makes for a striking presentation. You might be tempted to skip the tying of the veal shanks, but if you do you risk ending up with the meat separating completely from the bone and falling apart into the sauce. If you are not comfortable tying them yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you when you purchase them.

Serves 4

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion chopped fine
2 carrots chopped fine
2 stalks of celery chopped fine
4 veal shanks cut about 3 inches thick, each tied tightly cross-wise
flour, spread on a plate
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup imported Italian tomatoes, crushed with their juices
freshly gound pepper to taste
salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold all the veal shanks in a single layer. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the other 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sautè pan over medium heat. Dredge the veal shanks in the flour, coating on all sides and shake off the excess flour. When the oil is hot, slip in the shanks and brown them on all sides. Remove the veal shanks and place them in the pot on top of the cooked vegetables.
  4. Keep the sautè pan that the shanks were browned in over medium heat and add the wine and reduce for two minutes, scraping loose the browning residues stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine and pan juices over the veal shanks in the pot.
  5. Add the butter, chicken broth, tomatoes, pepper and salt to the pot. The liquid should come at least two thirds of the way to the top of the shanks. If it does not, add more broth.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook for about 2 hours, turning and basting every 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender.
  7. Transfer the ossobuco to warm serving plates and carefully cut off the strings. Spoon the sauce from the pot over the ossobuco and serve.