Osso Buco (literally "bone with a hole") is a classic Milanese favorite. Of the myriads of braised meats, Osso Buco, or Ossobuco, may be the most famous, and yet possibly the one least often cooked at home. In truth, it is one of the easiest meals to prepare, and in my view, ranks high among the best tasting. My purpose in this blog is simply to tempt you to try it. If you already have, then maybe I can tempt you to try my version, which calls for somewhat different herbs and vegetables than most other recipes.
It has been my experience, however, that you will need the services of a reputable butcher. Ideally, each shank should weigh about a pound and have a thick layer of meat surrounding the bone, preferably with the marrow intact. I also prefer fresh meat (i.e., never frozen), but that may be an impossible luxury in some locations.
The meat is just the beginning; fresh herbs and vegetables are next! I prefer red onion, carrots, mushrooms, and fennel, but some recipes call for celery or leeks. There is no magic here. I urge you to use the veggies you like best. Similarly, I prefer fresh Italian parsley, thyme, oregano, and marjoram, but many recipes use rosemary and bay leaves. To my taste, the rosemary can easily over-power the much more subtle flavor of the veal. Again, the final call is yours. Use the flavors you (and your family) like best.
Finally, being a northern Italian dish, Osso Buco is often served with risotto (I recommend my Risotto Milanese), but can be paired with almost any soft (egg-based) pasta. Tagliatelle and pappardelle are particularly excellent complements to Osso Buco.
However you choose among the options for vegetables, herbs, and accompaniments, I know you are in for a most memorable meal!
P.S. If your diners also enjoy dessert, you might consider my recipe for Roasted Pears! Fruit, wine, and cheese – especially Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – always pair well with northern Italian fare!