Osso Buco of Beef with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Osso Buco alla Milanese (from Milan) is a classic braising recipe that originally called for veal shanks, but we use beef here. This is a recipe for experienced cooks/chefs. It calls for planning, multiple techniques, a long cooking time plus time for other prep tasks, you'll be cooking at hot temps and the pot will be heavy. If you're an inexperienced cook and you want to go for it anyway, I recommend you make this recipe with a friend. In this case, two heads AND two bodies are better than one. I think that this is my favorite dish to make, and eat. It is well worth the time, money and effort.

Ingredients

*We use beef (not veal) in this recipe, a variation on Osso Buco alla Milanese, which is typically served with saffron risotto. It also goes very well with pappardelle noodles, or polenta as well. Serve with the bone and a marrow spoon, as the marrow is one of the features of this dish. The classic, served with the risotto, calls for additional marrow in the risotto. They don’t mess around in Milan. This is NOT a quick and easy dish…but it is well worth the time and effort!

  • 4 cross-cut beef shanks (about 1½ pounds per shank)
  • All purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 oz Bella Sun Luci Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little more just in case
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lg yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 lg carrots, cut into thin rounds
  • 1 stalk celery, small diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced + 1 more for the garnish
  • 1 8.5 oz jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, oil drained and reserved aside
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 qt + 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped + several sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest (you may prep this any way you like)
  • The 5th minced garlic clove from above

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Arrange the oven racks so that the pot (or pots if you don’t have one pot big enough to fit all of the ingredients) will fit in your oven.
  2. Pat the shanks dry.
  3. Season abundantly with salt and pepper.
  4. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
  5. In a large Dutch oven pot, heat the oil until just starting to smoke. *Carefully…add shanks to the hot pan (use long tongs!) and brown both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Have a little extra oil ready in case you need it.
  6. Remove browned shanks and set aside in a warm place. *Carefully…clean the pot with a paper towel (use your tongs), return the shanks to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients except the rosemary, thyme, parsley, zest and 5th garlic clove.
  7. While bringing to a boil on top of the stove, stir to completely dissolve the tomato paste and mix all of the ingredients well then place in the oven uncovered. Your shanks should be completely submerged under the stock, wine and veggies. Turn the oven to 450 and set your timer for 1 hour.
  8. While cooking, strip and chop the rosemary and thyme (discard the stems) and set those 2 aside. Zest the lemon and de-stem and chop the parsley (combine those with the minced garlic then set aside separately…this is called gremolata).
  9. After an hour, turn the oven to 350, remove the pot to a burner, turn on low, turn the shanks over in the pot and replace in the oven/set your timer for another hour.
  10. After the second hour, turn the shanks over again, starting with the largest one. If, as you do this, the meat is falling off of the bone of the largest one, they are all done. If so, turn them all over, add the chopped rosemary and thyme, stir in and set aside in a warm/room temperature place. If they are not falling off the bone, turn over and return to the oven for a half hour and afterward add the rosemary and thyme and stir in.
  11. When the shanks are no longer hot and you are able to handle them, pick each shank out of the pot one by one and remove the connective tissue and any other gristly parts that aren’t meat, by hand…you are now a chef…then replace into the pot of sauce, which should be a thick or slightly thick gravy at this point. Check the sauce for salt and add a little (1 tsp, at first) if it needs it.
  12. When the rest of your meal is ready, heat (either on the stove or in the oven) and serve, garnishing with your parsley-lemon zest-minced garlic gremolata and sprigs of parsley.
  13. *You can use the reserved olive oil from the tomatoes on top of the risotto, or pasta, or polenta accompanying the osso buco.
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