Osso Bucco, literally “hole in the bone,” is another wonderful meal for these cool winter nights. Serving it over some gorgonzola polenta takes it to a completely different level. Mmmm good. It definitely hits the spot.
Osso Bucco is one of my favorite dishes. I love the fall off the bone tender meat, the luscious sauce that it forms while braising and the unctuous bone marrow in the hole in the bone. It’s just an amazing combination.
As most of you know, Baby Lady doesn’t eat red meat. This is why we don’t do a lot of beef or lamb recipes on the blog. We fix lamb and beef dishes when we have the kids home, when we have guests over for dinner or when Baby Lady has to travel for work. This is one of those occasions when Baby Lady was traveling. Her work took her to Springfield, Mo. in early December. It was at the same time DFW and much of the rest of the Midwest experienced Icemageddon. When ice hits the DFW it cripples the area. We don’t see a lot of severe weather. So, we don’t have a lot of snow moving equipment. Also, ice is a little harder to clear. The net out was that Baby Lady got snowed in and couldn’t leave Springfield and I got iced in at the house.
Now, I don’t handle Baby Lady traveling very well. I always miss her. Phone calls and FaceTime help but I’m really a big baby when she’s not at home. There really aint no sunshine when she’s gone. So, when she’s gone, I fix things I generally don’t fix when she is here. Being iced in, however, made things difficult. Then I remembered I had 2 beautiful veal shanks in the freezer I had purchased specifically to make osso bucco. There was no better time to make it. So, this is what I did.
For the Polenta
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1-1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup of yellow polenta
- 3 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
For the Veal Shanks
- 2 veal shanks, roughly 1½″ thick
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 1 medium parsnip, small dice
- 1 ribs celery, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, zested
For the Veal Shanks
Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Now, trim the veal shanks’ outer membrane so they won’t curl on you as you braise them and tie them with kitchen twine.
Season veal shanks with salt and pepper.
Put flour on a plate, dredge shanks in flour, shaking off excess and transfer to a plate.
Heat oil in a 6-qt. dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add veal shanks and cook. When browned on bottom, flip and cook until browned. Total time is about 10 minutes.
Transfer veal shanks to a plate and cover with foil until ready to braise.
Add butter to pot;
stir in onions,
Cook, stirring and scraping any browned bits from bottom of pot with a wooden spoon, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste
and cook for 2 minutes. Now, add thyme
Bring to a simmer, season lightly with salt and pepper, cover and place in preheated oven until the veal is nearly falling off of the bone. This will take roughly 90 minutes.
When tender, transfer veal shanks to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
Heat pot over medium heat, reduce liquid by half and strain veggies from sauce pressing on veggies to extract all flavors from the veggies.
Return sauce to heat, add lemon zest and
Transfer veal shanks back to pot over very low heat, spoon sauce over the top, and cover to keep warm.
For the Polenta
While the veal shanks are cooking, make the polenta. You have lots of time and you really want the polenta done by the time the veal shanks are done. The polenta will hold in the oven, if needed, to stay warm.
Start by pouring the stock into a heavy bottom pot along with
and bring to a boil. Add polenta to boiling liquid and decrease heat to low.
Allow to cook on low heat for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta becomes smooth and tender. You may need to add more liquid in the process. When the polenta is creamy, smooth and tender, add the gorgonzola.
Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Spoon a serving of polenta in the middle of a dinner plate and place a shank atop the polenta.
Ladle sauce over the top
Serve & enjoy.
Don’t forget to set a small spoon for those who like the bone marrow. It is a very beefy, unctuous treat that goes well with bread on the side or mixed with the polenta.
NOTES: Osso bucco uses carrots as opposed to parsnips. Sadly, Baby Lady hates cooked carrots (except in jalapeños en escabeche) so I generally don’t keep them in the fridge. Instead, I substitute its cousin, the parsnip. It’s not the same but it does work.
Also, you can use beef stock in this recipe; however, I have a general disdain for commercially available beef stock (see why here) and won’t use it. Homemade beef stock is overpowering for this dish; so, I generally use homemade chicken stock. Veal stock is ideal; however, that is something I don’t buy or keep on hand. In this instance I actually used homemade turkey stock because of its slightly stronger flavor and I had a lot of it from the Thanksgiving turkey.