Ossobuco is a classic Milanese dish that pairs perfectly with another specialty from the Lombardy region, saffron infused Risotto alla Milanese. The name Ossobuco literally translates to “bone with a hole” which is a reference to the marrow filled hole in the center of the veal shank. 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.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 veal shanks cut about 3 inches thick, each tied tightly cross-wise
- flour, spread on a plate
- 1 small onion chopped fine
- 2 carrots chopped fine
- 2 stalks of celery chopped fine
- 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 ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- Heat the 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 reserve.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and reduce for two minutes, scraping loose the browning residues stuck to the bottom of the pan. Then add the reserved veal shanks back to the pan.
- 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.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours, turning and basting every 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender.
- Transfer the ossobuco to warm serving plates and carefully cut off the strings. Spoon the sauce from the pot over the ossobuco and serve.