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Beef Osso Bucco

INGREDIENTS
  • 1kg sliced beef shin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (400g) of chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 250 ml red wine (or white if you prefer)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (for the gremolata)
METHOD

Cooking osso bucco is a journey of aroma and flavour, transforming a humble beef shank into a gastronomic experience. The key to this transformation is time and the layering of flavours, so let's get into the specifics.

Traditional Method

  1. Preparation: Pat the beef shanks dry with kitchen paper and season generously with salt and pepper. Preheat your oven to 160°C (Gas Mark 3).
  2. Browning the Meat: In a large, ovenproof casserole dish, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef shanks on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks and set aside.
  3. Sautéing the Vegetables: In the same casserole dish, add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Deglaze and Add Liquids: Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to reduce by half. Add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock.
  5. Herbs and Meat: Return the browned shanks to the casserole dish. Tuck the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves into the liquid around the meat.
  6. Slow Cook: Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and place it in the preheated oven. Braise for about 2-2.5 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily separates from the bone.
  7. Gremolata: While the osso bucco is cooking, prepare the gremolata by mixing lemon zest, chopped parsley, and minced garlic. Set aside.
  8. Finishing Touches: Once the osso bucco is tender, remove the casserole from the oven. Discard the herb sprigs and bay leaves.
  9. Serving: Place each beef shank on a plate and spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over the top. Sprinkle the gremolata over each serving for a burst of fresh flavour.

Fast Pressure Cooker Method

Using a pressure cooker can drastically reduce the cooking time for osso bucco while still keeping those rich flavours. It's a fantastic way to bring out the essence of the beef shank without spending hours by the stove.

  1. Preparation: Season the beef shanks generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Browning the Meat: Set your pressure cooker to the 'Sauté' or 'Brown' function. Add olive oil, and once it's hot, brown the beef shanks on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shanks and set aside.
  3. Sautéing the Vegetables: In the same pressure cooker, add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Deglaze and Add Liquids: Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stirring to lift any browned bits from the bottom. Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock.
  5. Herbs and Meat: Return the browned shanks to the pressure cooker. Add the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.
  6. Pressure Cooking: Seal the pressure cooker and set it to high pressure. Cook for 45 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then quick-release any remaining pressure.
  7. Gremolata: While the osso bucco is cooking, prepare the gremolata by mixing lemon zest, chopped parsley, and minced garlic. Set aside.
  8. Finishing Touches: Once the pressure is fully released, carefully open the lid. Remove the herb sprigs and bay leaves. If the sauce is too thin, you can set the pressure cooker back to 'Sauté' and simmer to reduce it to your desired consistency.
  9. Serving: Serve the beef shanks with some of the sauce and vegetables, and sprinkle the gremolata over each serving for a burst of freshness.

Using a pressure cooker not only makes the process quicker but also locks in the flavours wonderfully, making it a viable alternative for those who are short on time but still wish to enjoy this kitchen classic.

 

Shop for Ingredients

Native Breed Beef Osso Buco

Native Breed Beef Osso Buco – 1kg

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Here are some ideas that work beautifully for side dishes with the rich and hearty profile of osso bucco:

Starchy Sides

  • Risotto alla Milanese: Given osso bucco's Italian origins, it often shares the table with this saffron-infused risotto. The creamy texture and aromatic flavour of the saffron create a harmonious union with the osso bucco.
  • Polenta: Another Italian classic, soft polenta acts as a sponge for the osso bucco's sumptuous sauce. The cornmeal base also offers a slight sweetness that balances the richness of the meat.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Always a crowd-pleaser, mashed potatoes provide a creamy backdrop to the dish. A touch of garlic or some grated Parmesan can add an extra layer of flavour.
  • Gnocchi: These little Italian dumplings can be either store-bought or homemade and can soak up the lovely braising juices just like polenta or mashed potatoes.

Vegetable Sides

  • Steamed Asparagus or Green Beans: A simple preparation can showcase the natural flavours and offer a fresh counterpoint to the heavy meat dish.
  • Roasted Root Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beetroot can be roasted with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of herbs, offering both colour and a hearty accompaniment.
  • Sautéed Spinach or Swiss Chard: Greens sautéed with a bit of garlic and a dash of lemon juice can cut through the richness of the osso bucco, providing a light, nutritious side option.

Salads

  • Arugula and Parmesan Salad: The peppery bite of arugula and the salty tang of Parmesan cheese provide a refreshing, palate-cleansing quality.
  • Caprese Salad: The freshness of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella can lighten the meal, offering a Mediterranean touch.

Bread

  • Crusty Bread: Sometimes, the simplest options are the best. A fresh loaf of crusty bread can be perfect for mopping up that delicious sauce.
  • Garlic Bread: If you're a garlic enthusiast, garlic bread can be another fabulous addition. Its robust flavour profile makes it a worthy accompaniment to osso bucco.

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Hot Tips

  • For an even richer flavour, consider making your beef stock from scratch.
  • Feel free to adjust the type and amount of herbs to suit your taste or try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar for a touch of acidity.

Pairings

The ideal drinks should not only complement the flavours of the dish but also have the strength to stand up to its richness. Here's a selection of options:

Red Wine

  • Barolo: This Italian red wine, made from Nebbiolo grapes, offers a complex array of flavours including plum, cherry, and even tar. It has the body and tannins to stand up to osso bucco.
  • Chianti: Another Italian classic, a good Chianti can offer a lovely balance of acidity and tannins, which can cut through the richness of the dish while complementing its depth of flavour.
  • Bordeaux: For those who prefer French wines, a Bordeaux blend can offer the necessary structure and complexity to pair with osso bucco.

White Wine

  • Chardonnay: If you’re more of a white wine enthusiast, opt for a fuller-bodied, oaked Chardonnay. Its buttery richness can harmonise with the dish while its acidity keeps the palate refreshed.

Beer

  • Belgian Dubbel: This rich, malty beer has enough body to stand up to osso bucco and often carries dark fruit notes that can complement the dish beautifully.
  • Stout: A rich, creamy stout can echo the richness of the osso bucco. Some stouts even carry a slight coffee note which can provide an interesting contrast to the dish.

Non-Alcoholic Options

  • Sparkling Water with Lemon: Sometimes simple is best. The bubbles can refresh the palate, while the lemon adds a touch of acidity.
  • Virgin Mary: This non-alcoholic take on the Bloody Mary offers a mix of tomato juice, lemon juice, and various spices. Its savoury character makes it a fitting companion to meat dishes like osso bucco.
  • Apple Cider: Opt for a less sweet, more tart version to provide a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the osso bucco.
  • Iced Tea with Citrus: The astringency of the tea and the brightness of citrus can act as a palate cleanser, making each bite of osso bucco feel like the first.

After-Dinner Drinks

  • Port or Sherry: These fortified wines offer a lovely way to conclude your meal, especially if you’re skipping dessert.