Monday, November 21, 2011

osso buco dinner party!

My good buddy Kelly got a new stove. To celebrate and christen the new appliance, she had some friends over for a dinner party. I love going over to Kelly's to help cook fun stuff (see: Paella, pretzels, pork buns, for example). We chose Osso Buco for this party.

Kelly did most of the research and shopping... mostly I just came over and chopped a bunch of stuff up. So why am I posting about it? Because I was able to get Mario Batali to help!! Okay, I asked him for tips on twitter and he answered... which, honestly, he does for hundreds of lucky tweeters a day. But still... when Mario Batali.... one of my favorite famous chefs ever... @'d me on twitter?! What a thrill!!

The funny part of this story is that, when you look up Mario's recipe for Osso Buco, both online and in his cookbook, it calls for cooking it in the oven... against his own advice? What gives, Batali?! We couldn't ignore his twitter advice, so we went with the stove top method.

I brought my wind-up Mario toy to "help" in the kitchen. He was a flipping inspiration:

  • Osso Buco with Gremolata
  • -1/2 cup flour
  • - 4 pieces veal shank with bone
  • - salt & pepper
  • - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • - 3 tablespoons butter
  • - 1 onion, chopped
  • - 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • - 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • - 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • - 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • - 1 cup dry white wine
  • - 2 chicken stock
  • - 16 oz bottle of good tomato sauce


  • - Zest of 1 lemon, plus some of the juice
  • - Zest of 1 orange, plus some of the juice
  • - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • - handful of Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • - salt & pepper

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks in the mixture and shake off excess. Heat oil and butter in a dutch oven. Brown the veal shanks on all sides, being careful to keep the marrow in the bones. Remove and set aside.

Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and parsley to the pan and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high, add the wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Return the shanks to the pan, add the stock and tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender, basting a few times during cooking. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.

For gremolata, combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon over Osso Buco to serve. Serve with Polenta, made creamy with heavy cream and shredded romano or parmesan cheese.

This was both Kelly and my first time cooking Osso Buco. It's a classic dish... which always makes me nervous. But it was so simple to make! It allowed us plenty of time to enjoy our awesome friends. It turned out to be quite a party.... laughing 'til we cried, too much delicious wine (thanks, Kyle!!), good conversation, and of course, good, soul-satisfying food.


Woody said...

Nice pics!

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

Honestly, I thought the meat could have been a little more tender. I'm wondering if braising it in the oven would have worked better. With so much liquid in the pot, it wouldn't have overcooked!

Still, it WAS a great night. We should do that more often!

S. Eric Ketzer said...

It was an epic night indeed...11 bottles, 7 bodies, and that was before the Green Ferry showed up.

delline said...

I am sure it was wonderful but I have always cooked mine in the oven and never had a problem with overcooking or tenderness...One of my best of the best!

Anonymous said...

I have cooked this dish many times always and only on the stove top. I also add the gremolata to the pot about 45 minutes before I turn it off. In other words I cook it. One and a half hours doesn't sound long enough if you are cooking a lot of shanks. Move them around so that they cook evenly and the timing should be 2 to 3 hrs of simmering. This is also good served with Risotto Milanese or even fettucine or spaghetti.