Thursday, June 23, 2011

Osso Buco with tomatoes & gremolata

Traditionally, Osso Buco is a Milanese dish and not made with tomatoes, contrary to popular belief. Tomatoes are not used in the cooking of northern Italy. The absence of the tomato flavour in Osso Buco allows the more delicate flavour of the gremolata to feature in this classic dish. I just love tomatoes in anything, and more so in slow cooked dishes so I had to use them in my version of Osso Buco plus I can't resist gremolata on just about anything.

[photo source]
Gremolata is a combination of chopped parsley, grated lemon rind and garlic, used to just sprinkle on top of or mix through the dish once cooked. It's perfect to be used for a topping on just about any savoury dish.

Osso buco translates to "bone with a hole". It's actually the veal shank cut into slices. You could do this recipe with lamb shanks as well. You'll find most recipes the same but I used this one from one of my Italian cookbooks, "The Food of Italy". I served it with penne pasta and it was delicious. It was a cold-ish day and a very cool night. Just what I needed.

Osso Buco with Tomatoes & Gremolata

2 pieces veal osso buco
plain flour for dusting meat (seasoned with salt & pepper)
2 tbs olive oil
60g butter
1 garlic clove
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1//2 celery stalk, fine chopped
250ml cup dry white wine
375ml (1.1/2 cups) veal or chicken stock
400gm tin diced Italian tomatoes
bouquet garni (fresh herbs tied with string - I used flat leafed parsley and thyme - you could also use dried herbs)
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper

(This dish is perfect for the slow cooker or it can be prepared in an ovenproof casserole dish, suitable for the stove top and then cooked in the oven.)

Dust meat with seasoned flour and fry until sealed, in olive oil and butter. Remove from pan and add to slow cooker. Add onions, garlic, carrot and celery on low heat without browning. Add wine and increase heat to high and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper. Return veal to pan (if using an ovenproof dish) or add vegetable/sauce mixture to slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4 hours or 8 hours on low if using the slow cooker. If cooking in the oven, cook for approx 1.1/2 hours or until meat is tender and sauce is thick.

1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbs flat parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients together. After removing veal from the pan, add gremolata to sauce, saving some to sprinkle on top to serve.

Oh, and after researching quite a few different recipes on the Internet, I discovered that the correct spelling is 'buco' with one 'c', not two as I originally thought.



  1. Wow. I was wondering what gremolata was, then you told me. How aboutthat.

  2. Yum!!! This recipe looks and sounds delicious! I love all this authentic Italian food you're feeding us :)
    Star Hughes Living

  3. Oh yum! I love the way you explain the ingredients, so much more interesting than just a recipe - I don't know, but you may just be able to inspire me to cook!
    I did a food post today too, but the polar opposite of yours, mine is what NOT to do.

  4. YUM! You have definitely inspired me to cook!

    Friday is baking day for me... not sure what yet.

  5. Hi Anne,
    It is so good to see you here today! Looks like you have been busy cooking and stay warm down there. I am always interested in what you are cooking for your winter meals as we are in the heat of summer. I would love to have some of your cool weather! I just love this dish and it would be great anytime of the year. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, I look forward to seeing you again soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. Wow! That looks so good! Wonderful recipe!

  7. Oh my gosh, I simply love Osso Bucco. We served it at our daughter's wedding. What a treat to see this recipe on your blog! I'm now following so that I don't miss any more superb posts! Please stop by my blog and link this recipe post up to my weekend foodie blog hop: Fresh Food Friday/Seasonal fits in perfectly. Come join the fun!

  8. Hi Anne, thank you so very much for sharing this outstanding recipe last week on Fresh Food Friday. With great pleasure, I featured it today and hope that you can stop by, check it out, and if you like, please share another wonderful recipe! Happy Weekend! Oh PS: I forgot to tell you that I am now your newest follower now that i've found you!

  9. I bet the Gremolata really lifts the dish and stops it being heavy doesn't it? Will have to try this one, I do like meat on the bone. Seems to have gone a bit out of fashion other than lamb shanks.

  10. That really looks the business. I've only has osso bucco once - in a restaurant - and it was a disaster because it hadn't been cooked long enough. All the cartilage and sinew hadn't melted away.Yours looks incredibly tasty, and a cheap cut of meat, too. Will make a trip to my butcher's this weekend. Thanks for sharing.
    Keith (RHD)

  11. I'm definitely trying the gremolata next time we have pasta.

  12. Wow, this is an interesting post. I didn't know Osso Buco has only one "C". I'm with you on adding tomatoes. I just love them. I was going to make Oso Buco, from a different website, where they added horse radish to the gremolata. My husband hates horseradish (I love it). Your version is great. I couldn't find veal shanks, but I'll look for lamb shanks next time. Great post.


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