It’s 6 o’clock right now, I’m sitting at my favorite local vietnamese restaurant by myself with a glass of wine, and I am basking in the quiet bliss that is my evening. I used to be so afraid of eating by myself, but there is actually something very peaceful about it. These past few months I have had the most impossible time balancing work, life, friends, family, and hobbies, and just sitting here with no plans but devoting myself to an evening blog post is brining me the greatest joy. Does anyone else find it extremely hard sometimes to balance everything they want/need to do in life? I don’t even have kids yet (actually that’s not completely true, my dogs are pretty much my children), and I can barely find time for my laundry – I don’t know how you super moms do it! Anyways, enough of my babbling, and let’s get to this amazing osso bucco!!!
I am not quite sure what even sparked in my brain that I decided to make osso bucco, but it turned out better than I could have imagined. It was so easy to cook, and I am going to make a huge statement right here by saying, it was one of the best dishes I have ever cooked. Im serious, EVER. The fact that it was veal AND lamb didn’t hurt either. Lamb has been a big thing our kitchen ever since I came back from my Superior Farms trip earlier this summer. Once I learned how to buy the proper lamb to cook with (American lamb), I have enjoyed cooking with it so much more.
The first thing I did was buy about 3 pounds of both veal and lamb shanks. The most important thing about this dish is, in my opinion, that most of the flavor you are getting is going to be coming from the bones and the marrow of the shanks. So, if you want to cut cost (as veal and lamb shank can get quite expensive), mix in a little neck or other parts of the meat – as long as you have one or two shank bones in there, you are golden.
One of the other important aspects to this dish is browning the meat. It is crucial to brown the meat and get these really good brown bits onto the bottom of your pan – this is the “flavor goop” as I like to call it.
See all that golden goodness? This is exactly what you pot should look like after you brown the meat. Once the meat is browned, you sauté the veggies and scrape up all of that flavor goop, then deglaze with the sherry and stock. After that, you simmer and add in the remaining ingredients. The last thing I want to stress to you is the importance of home-made veal stock or really good quality stock. It will make or break this dish – in my opinion. I don’t always make my own stock though, and I know most don’t, so here are your options – demi-glacé, or my personal favorite, veal stock options. I recently discovered the “stock options”, which are frozen stocks, at central market and I am obsesssed. In this case I used the veal stock option, and it worked beautifully.
Look how dark and beautiful the sauce comes out after. It also freezes extremely well!
Look at all the marrow in the bones in the photo below – so much flavor is coming out of those, so be sure to eat it all!!!! Or, scoop it out into the broth!
Once the osso buco is made, there are quite a few different things you can do with it. I stuffed one batch of the meat into homemade ravioli, reserving all the liquid for the pasta sauce.
Another batch I made, I simply served using the sauce as a gravy over rice. The possibilities are endless! I know you will fall in love with this recipe, so be sure to tag #ATastyMess when you make it so I can see!
- 3 lb veal & lamb shanks, BONE IN!
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 carrots (about 1 cup), minced
- 3 celery stalks (about 1 cup), minced
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ cup flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ¼ cup sherry
- ¼ cup red wine
- 56 oz. veal stock
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Place the flour in a small breading dish and set aside. Season both sides of the veal and lamb shanks very well. Then coat all sides evenly with the flour and set aside. Prepare a medium-large cast iron pot - heat the olive oil in the pot on high. Add in the veal and lamb shanks and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes total. Remove the shanks and lower the heat to medium.
- Add in the onions, carrot, garlic, celery, salt and pepper, and saute for about 6-7 minutes. Be sure to scrape the pan with your wooden spoon to get up all the good brown bits at the bottom. Deglaze the pot by adding in the sherry and red wine, scraping up any additional brown bits. After a minute, add in the tomatoes and continue to stir. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add in the veal stock, veal, and lamb. Bring the liquid to a simmer, add in the cinnamon, cinnamon stick, and thyme, and cover. Transfer the pot into the oven, and braise until the meat is tender, which will be 3 hours. Stir and taste the liquid about every hour, and be sure to adjust salt and pepper accordingly.