Since we are in the middle of March and half of the United States is still covered in frost, I thought I’d take advantage of the cold weather and share a traditional, yet gustoized, recipe that… warms numb toes.
Ossobuco is a traditional dish from the fashion-capital of the world, Milano. This cross-cut veal shank served with risotto alla milanese, a creamy saffron risotto side dish, can be found on every Lombardian (the Italian region containing cities such as Milano, Como, and Brescia) restaurant during the winter season. I made ossobuco for the first time last summer for about 75 hungry Germans . Whattt?? What did he just say?? I helped the Argihotel Elisabetta’s head chef, Luigi Brunetti, roast 70-something ossobuchi one morning while working as an apprentice sou chef. Since I did not remember exactly how to make it Luigi-style, I made my own version of the Agrihotel’s coveted ossobuco this past winter, and with great success!
Overall, this recipe is pretty simple. After preparing the ingredients for the vegetable-wine sauce, which is what the ossobuco will roast in, you just let it simmer a while like a soup or a broth. Nothing fancy involved. This is a hearty hiker’s comfort food. Very “Alpine”.
Special notes about ossobuco? The center bone marrow is the best part! It is full of flavor and hearty fat. Save it for last! Ossobuco goes well with risotto, polenta, and steamed vegetables. One medium ossobuco is the perfect serving size for one person.
Ossobuco alla Gustaio
Prep Time? 20 minutes Cooking Time? 1 hour
- 3 Ossobuchi
- White Rice Flour (or all-purpose flour if it is more convenient for you)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 medium Yellow Onion
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 medium Carrots
- 1 large Celery Stalk
- 2 ½ cups Beef or Chicken Stock
- 1 Dried Bay Leaf
- 1 1/3 cup Dry Red Wine
- 2 cup Tomato Juice
- 1 ½ cup Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel the carrots.
Finely chop the onions, carrots, and celery.
In a medium-sized pot, cook the onion in the olive oil over low heat until the onion turns translucent.
Add the carrots and celery and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Add the beef or chicken stock and bay leaf and let simmer over medium heat uncovered for 3 minutes.
Add the red wine, tomato juice, and tomato sauce, and let simmer for another 5-8 minutes or so, allowing the sauce to boil down slightly.
Turn off the stove. Stir in the 1 tbsp. flour and put the sauce aside.
Season each ossobuco with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, ensuring that both sides receive equal amounts of seasoning.
Fill a shallow dish with white rice flour (or all-purpose flour) and set aside.
Heat a large pan (or pot) on high until the pan is scalding. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to the pan.
Coat each side of the ossobuco in the flour, and place on the hot pan. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes.
Turn off the stove. Add the sauce to the pan, pouring enough in the pan to completely cover the ossobuchi.
Cover the pan and cook for 1 hour. If you like the sauce a little thicker, then cook it a little longer with the cover off.
Serve warm with a heaping spoonful of creamy risotto or polenta, and a beautiful Milanista model. Buon Appetito!