Italian dishes might be known for pizza and pasta but there are a lot of other wonderful Italian dishes that does not fall into that category like this Milanese specialty called Osso Bucco. Osso Bucco or Ossobuco is made out of a slowly braised veal shanks in white wine and broth then garnished with gremolata (a mixture of parsley, anchovies and lemon rind). There are two ways of cooking this wonderful dish, one is the modern version which uses tomatoes with the gremolata as an optional while the original one does not use tomatoes but instead it is flavoured with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata is a must.
Osso bucco means “bone with a hole” in Italian; it was discovered in a neighbourhood type of restaurant (Osteria) locally in Milan during the 19th century. Traditionally served with risotto ala Milanese but can also be served with polenta, mashed potatoes or even pasta which makes it a complete meal, but for this version I will be serving it with saffron rice. Also for this recipe I will be including the gremolata in the simmering process which further enhances the taste of the whole dish.
Ingredients (Osso Bucco)
4 pcs veal shanks or beef shanks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
2 large cans chopped tomatoes
2 large white onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef stock
4 pcs fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped parsley
10 pcs anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon rind
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp flour
Ingredients (Saffron Rice)
3 cups long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3 pinches Saffron
Method (Osso Bucco)
1. Season meat with salt and pepper then dredge in flour.
2. In a deep pot add 1/8 cup olive oil and brown meat pieces on all sides. Set aside.
3. Add the onions and 1/2 of the garlic then sauté until onions turn translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
4. Add meat, beef stock and wine bring to a boil slowly simmer for 2 hours checking regularly and adding water if needed.
5. Now using a blender mix together remaining garlic, parsley, anchovies, lemon rind and remaining olive oil. Place in the pot and simmer for 30 more minutes.
6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with saffron rice.
Method (Saffron Rice)
1. In a pan add butter and fry garlic until golden brown add onions then cook until translucent.
2. Add the rice in a pan and mix well.
3. Pour into a rice cooker together with water, stock, salt and saffron. Once boiling give it a mix so saffron is evenly distributed.
4. Once cooked, fluff rice with fork.
Tip: To remove tomato skin all you need to do is prick tomatoes skin multiple times with sharp knife then drop in boiling water for 5-10 seconds, remove the tomatoes from the water then skin will easily be removed by fingers.