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OSSO BUCO RECIPE

Also see article, 'Braising can take the chill out of winter'
 

INGREDIENTS

    4 veal shanks
    Salt and pepper to taste
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 and a half cups parsnips, roughly chopped
    1 and a half cups turnips, roughly chopped
    4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 cup red wine
    1 cup beef or veal stock
    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
    1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
    1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
     

DIRECTIONS

1) Season the shanks with salt and pepper and brown them in a large skillet with the olive oil, for about 5 minutes on each side.

2) Place the shanks in a large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.

3) In the same skillet you browned the shanks, sauté the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes adding more olive oil if necessary.  Add the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for a few minutes more, being careful not to burn the paste or the garlic.

4) Add the stock, wine, and herbs and bring to a boil.

5) Pour everything over the shanks and place the casserole dish in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

6) Add salt and pepper to taste at the end.

     This recipe has a lot of leeway.  First, you can use beef shanks but veal produces more gelatin and hence, more tenderness. Lamb shanks would be an excellent substitution.  You can also use carrots in place of the parsnips and potatoes instead of turnips. Whichever ones you choose, cut them into large pieces, (about an inch and a half), so the extended cooking doesn’t turn them to mush.  (This is why root vegetables and not delicate vegetables are used). The specific herbs and quantities can be adjusted to suit particular preferences. And please, do not use cooking wine. I am a strong advocate of the time honored adage that if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. 
     Your casserole dish should be large enough to hold all the ingredients and have a snug fitting lid so the liquids do not evaporate.  I use a round, glass casserole that is 4 and a half inches deep and 10 inches across inside. 
     Lastly, the dish would not be complete without a loaf of bread to dip in the juice, (pure heaven), and the right bottle of wine. Go with a full bodied and hearty wine such as Bordeaux, a northern Rhone, Brunello di Montalcino or my favorite, Barolo.
 

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