I’m not sure if the old adage about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach is true for all but it’s always worked for me. By that I mean that the way to MY heart is definitely through MY stomach. To me there is nothing more attractive than someone who will cook me a delicious meal on a cold February night.
If you’re trying to win someone’s heart, I recommend this Osso Buco served the classic way with Risotto alla Milanese. The meat falls off the bone and the whole dish is filled with flavor. Most of it can be cooked ahead of time so there’s very little fussing in the kitchen.
My favorite part, which might seem over indulgent to many, is digging out all the marrow from the bone and eating it with the risotto.
Classic Osso Buco
Adapted from Marcella Hazan
Serves 2 people
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 veal shanks (about 2” thick, tied around the middle with trussing string)
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup of canned diced Italian tomatoes (including the juice)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of parsley, plus additional for garnish
1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft (approx. 8 mins) and remove from heat.
3. Heat the oil in a separate skillet.
4. When the oil is hot, dredge the veal in flour and immediately add to the skillet. Using tongs, turn after a few minutes to make sure all sides are well browned. Cook about 2 minutes per side.
5. When browned, place the shanks on top of the sautéed vegetables in the dutch oven.
6. Discard the fat left in the skillet and return to the heat.
7. Add the white wine and begin to boil briskly.
8. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any of the veal stuck to the pan.
9. Add the stock and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
10. Pour this sauce over the veal shanks. The liquid should reach the top of the veal. If it doesn’t, add some more stock.
11. Add the bay leaves, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. I like to be generous when seasoning.
12. Bring the contents of the dutch oven to a simmer.
13. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 2 hours.
14. Check every 30 minutes, basting the veal when necessary with its surrounding sauce.
15. If the sauce is too thin at the end, remove the veal and place on an oven safe platter. Return veal to the oven on low, covering with foil while you finish the sauce on the stovetop.
16. To thicken: bring the sauce to a rapid boil on top of the stove until it reduces. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when tested.
17. To finish: remove trussing string and pour the sauce over the veal. Serve hot with Risotto alla Milanese. (You can also garnish with parsley as desired).