I recently served this Osso Bucco, aka Braised Beef Shanks, to my daughter and son-in-law when they came for a visit with my precious new baby grand-daughter.
When it was presented to them, however, this once appetizing dish had already taken the form of leftovers… I had pulled all the meat from the bones and sucked all the marrow out of those same bones before to throw them out. Oh! that marrow was amazing, by the way! I didn’t care much for marrow the first time I tried it, but this one was TO DIE FOR!. Whatever you do, DO NOT throw it out without at least giving it a try. If you don’t really care for it, mix it in with the meat, so at least it doesn’t go to waste…
So anyway, back to my leftover Osso Bucco. To be honest, I was a little uneasy serving it to my guests. I mean, the dish HAD seen better days, you know… what had once been big and beautiful, moist and tender chunks of meat swimming in a rich and tasty tomato sauce now looked like nothing more than a pile of
mush pulled meat.
Still, upon taking her first bite, my daughter exclaimed “Oh my goodness, this has got to be the best darn meat dish I have ever eaten. Exactly what kind of meat did you say this was?”
I was a tad reluctant to tell her, as my nose-to-tail eating efforts aren’t always very well acclaimed. My Stuffed Beef Heart, for instance, hadn’t scored too many points… Neither did the Pickled Beef Tongue…
But beef shanks were very much okay, apparently, for even after I volunteered the information, the verdict remained: Best darn beef dish she’d ever eaten. And my son-in-law seemed to agree with her.
YES! Looks like I’ll be making this again…
Osso Bucco starts with the most beautiful pieces of meat: beef shanks. Just look at how fleshy and tender these look! I was almost sad that I had to cook them…
Of course, you could very well use veal shanks if you wanted to. In fact, I believe the “real” thing actually calls for veal shanks. But whichever you choose to use will do. Plus, they’re both equally beautiful.
Before you go ahead and cook it, you want to pamper your meat: first, pat it real dry, then sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
When the pan is scorching hot, add the meat and cook it without moving it until a beautiful golden crust forms, which will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the meat and continue cooking until a crust forms on the other side too.
Remove the cooked pieces of meat to a Dutch oven.
Lower the heat to medium and put your skillet back over the heat source. Add a little more fat to the pan if necessary, then throw in the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant and become slightly golden.
Add bone broth, tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar, dried mustard, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, cinnamon and clove and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, then pour that over the meat in the Dutch oven.
Cover and cook in a 325°F oven for 3 to 3½ hours or until the meat easily detaches from the bones.
Don’t actually pull it! I did that just to demonstrate how tender this is… you want to keep the chunks or meat as intact as possible when you plate them.They look so much nicer that way!
Oh, and once again… check out the beautiful marrow in those bones! Don’t leave that behind, by all means!
Serve the meat piping hot, with a side of thick and creamy cauliflower mash.
Although apparently, the leftovers will be just as good, even though they’re not quite as pretty.
I think I can concur… I really wish I’d made a double batch! I think I need to get my hands on a few more shanks!
For yeah! This was one of the best darn meat dishes I’ve eaten in my entire life…
- 1.75kg (3-3/4lbs) beef shanks
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 2 cups bone broth
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp dried mustard
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Pat the meat dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Melt a generous amount of healthy cooking fat such as lard, ghee or coconut oil in a heavy skillet set over high heat.
- Add the meat and cook without moving until a beautiful golden crust forms, which will take 3-5 minutes. Flip the meat and continue cooking until a crust forms on that side too. Remove the cooked pieces of meat to a 7 quart Dutch oven.
- Once the meat has been cooked and removed, lower the heat to medium, add a little more fat to the pan if necessary then throw in the onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are fragrant and become slightly golden.
- Add broth, tomatoes, water, balsamic vinegar, dried mustard, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, cinnamon and clove and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, then pour over the meat in the Dutch oven.
- Cover and cook in a 325F oven for 3 to 3½ hours or until the meat easily detaches from the bones.
- Serve immediately with a side of cauliflower mash.