Osso buco

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(CC) Photo: Hayford Peirce
Osso buco accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and a strained, puréed sauce

Osso buco, or ossobuco in Italian, is a hearty, well-known dish of braised veal shanks in a rich tomato sauce that is served as the main course of a meal. Because it is generally associated with the area around Milan, it is frequently called Osso buco alla Milanese. In Milan's dialect, oss bus means "bone with a hole." Most recipes call for a last-minute addition of a gremolada (or gremolata), which is a chopped mixture of lemon peel, garlic, and parsley. An osso buco prepared without tomatoes can be called either Ossobuco in Bianco or Ossobuco in Gremolada. The principle ingredients for a typical osso buco are thick slices of veal shank, chopped onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes, white wine, and seasonings such as lemon peel, thyme, and bay leaf. After the meat is browned by frying, it is added to the other ingredients and is then baked in a tightly sealed casserole until the veal is falling-apart tender. Most recipes call for the meat to served with the very thick vegetable sauce in which it has been stewed; to present a more elegant appearance, however, the sauce ingredients can first be either strained or puréed. The classic accompaniment to osso buco is risotto alla Milanese, a risotto often flavored with saffron.

For images showing the preparation of osso buco please see our gallery.

Sources

  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1992, pages 355–358, ISBN 0-394-58404-X
  • Foods of the World, Recipes: The Cooking of Italy by Waverley Root, Time-Life Books, New York, 1974, page 62, Library of Congress cat. card number 68-19230
  • Italy: The Beautiful Cookbook, by Lorenza de'Medici and Patrizia Passigli, Collins Publishers, San Francisco, 1988, page 142, ISBN 0-00-215446-3
  • The New Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, Barron's, Hauppauge, New York, 1995, pages 262 and 404, ISBN 0-8120-1520-7

See also