November kicks off the holiday season in earnest. It’s all about planning for Thanksgiving, family gatherings and get-togethers with friends. This is the time we start going through our favorite recipes to decide which ones are feast-worthy and fabulous.
When I think of feast-worthy and fabulous, I go right to my momma’s recipe for Osso Buco, a wonderful Italian dish of braised veal shanks in a delicious glaze of simmered wine, vegetables and fresh herbs. Osso Buco literally means “bone with a hole” and in that hole is the most scrumptious marrow that I’ve always thought to be the caviar of the veal shank! This dish is considered to be a bit of a delicacy in many fine dining establishments, so I always giggle when I think of my momma’s story about Osso Buco’s humble beginnings in her life.
I would have never imagined in a million years, that Osso Buco would become such a fancy dish on many expensive restaurant menus because, as a young girl growing up in Venice, Italy, I remember my mother returning from the local butcher with free veal shank bones. Why? Because he couldn’t sell them, so he would give them away! We would use them for soup bones and my six sisters and I would always fight over who was going to be lucky enough to suck out the marrow from those delicious bones! Here I am today, sharing a recipe for a truly gourmet dish. I think you will love it, and I wish you luck getting to the bone marrow first!
It’s one of my favorite family recipes and a wonderful comfort-food dish to have on hand for the cooler weather and warm and inviting holidays ahead. So let the holiday season begin with big blessings to all of you!
4 large veal shanks (10-12 oz. each)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups red wine
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 small sprig of rosemary plus 1 sprig for garnish
2 cups beef consume or broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Dredge veal shanks in flour, patting down to coat. In a Dutch oven or deep heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and brown shanks on all sides. Add wine and continue cooking over low heat until wine evaporates. Add in carrots, onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes, basil, parsley, rosemary and beef broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for two to three hours, adding more stock or water if shanks begin to get dry or stick to pot. Shanks are done when they are tender but not falling apart. Remove shanks onto a platter and pour sauce from the skillet over the shanks and serve. (Sauce should be a thick glaze.) Garnish with fresh parsley and sprig of rosemary. Serve with risotto or pasta. Serves four.