For me, those two words, Osso Buco, have always conjured up the idea of a romantic dinner. The name just has such an exotic feel to it. I always think of images of a waterfront café, sitting at a small table with my wife, sipping good wine and watching the sunset while the cool breezes caresses us.
Of course that image was temporally shattered when I learned that Osso Buco means bone with a hole. But then I remembered that I don’t really speak Italian, so it can mean whatever I want it to mean.
Anyway, this savory dish will not only romance your other half, but it will impress your guests. One of the best parts is that it’s all done in one pan, so clean up is easy. In fact I’ve always found that this is so tasty that there really isn’t much left to clean up afterwards anyway.
So, put the kids to bed early, cozy up with a nice glass of wine, and this traditional Italian masterpiece. And before you know it, you and your love will be making beautiful music together. No bones about it.
For the Osso Buco:
- 2 KOL Foods 100% grass-fed Osso Buco
- Kosher Salt
- Granulated Garlic
- Cracked Black pepper
- Olive Oil
- 1 onion - Diced
- 1 Large Carrot Sliced
- 1 Large Celery Stalk – Sliced
- 4 – Cups of Nice White Wine – Separated (I like the Levanim from Jezreel)
- 1-Cup Beef Bone Broth, made with KOL Foods 100% grass-fed beef bones
- 6 Garlic Cloves – Lightly Chopped
- 1/2-Cup Cognac
- 3-4 oz. Tomato Paste
- 2 Tomatoes – Diced
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 5 Strips of KOL Foods 100% grass-fed Smoked Beef Fry (Beef ‘Bacon’)
- 5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 4-5 Fresh Sprigs of Thyme
For the Gremolata:
- Small bunch of Fresh Parsley - chopped
- 3 Cloves of Garlic - chopped
- Zest of one Lemon
- Olive Oil to bind
- Touch of salt
I first start with 2 or more beef shanks from my friends at KOL Foods. This is an osso buco cut, bone in and sliced through the shank. Season with kosher salt, granulated garlic and a touch of cracked black pepper. Then I add a hint of cinnamon, this is really the old school way to season the meat for osso buco.
Next is dredging the meat in flour. I like to use organic whole wheat flour. But you can use regular flour as well. Or to keep things gluten free, use rice flour. The flour will help the meat to get golden brown. An alternative to dredging the meat is to cover the meat with the flour on both sides. This method wastes less flour.
Now get your braising pan on a medium high heat and add some olive oil. Brown the meat in the olive oil, almost to the point of burning. You want a rich caramelized crust. This is pure golden flavor. Once both sides of the meat have been browned, set aside and wipe the pan clean. Excess flour in it will burn.
Next sauté the onions, carrots and celery in olive oil. Once they start to get translucent, add the garlic. As soon as you start to smell the garlic, add the KOL Foods smoked fry (beef ‘bacon’), this is the new school way to season the dish. Then add the cognac, one glass of white wine (I like the Levanim from Jezreel from KosherWine.com), the tomato paste, the bay leaves, the diced tomatoes and the bone broth. Cover the pan and put in a 350-degree oven for between 2 and 2.5 hours.
Once the meat is in the oven make the gremolata. Gremolata is a traditional Italian herb garnish that kicks the flavor of this dish into the stratosphere. Simply combine the chopped parsley, chopped garlic, lemon zest and olive oil, and add a touch of kosher salt. Put this aside.
Remember those other three glasses of white wine? Sit back and relax now while you wait for the osso buco to finish. Enjoy one glass of wine you deserve it. The other two glasses go on your dining table, one for your ‘other half’ and the other one for you. Why not, you’ve earned that second glass.
Once the Osso buco comes out of the oven, the meat should be falling off the bones. Plate the meat and gently reduce the sauce down. Add the fresh basil and thyme as you do. If you want to get fancy you can thicken the sauce by using a stick blender to puree the veggies.
L’Chaim . . . Avi.