Ossobuco (pronounced [ˌɔsːoˈbuːko]) is a Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese. Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for “bone with a hole” (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank (Wikipedia).
This classic is sometimes made with pork shanks or lamb shanks, but I’m a big fan of veal shanks so I’m going the traditional route. This is a perfect dish to make overnight in the CVap, chill in the morning, and then reheat for dinner service. This is one of those dishes that benefits from that wonderful mingling of flavors under refrigeration. One of these days there might actually be some leftovers to have the next day, but so far that hasn’t happened! Both of the preparation methods I’m sharing can easily be scaled for restaurant service, as well.
For overnight cooking, you would use the high yield setting on the Cook and Hold. This feature turns off the browning elements about 40% of the way through the cooking process that you’ll program. Just press start, the timer begins to count down, and that’s all you have to do. Settings would be 180 Doneness + 6 browning for 6 hours. After the timer counts down to zero, the CVap will enter a 150 Doneness + 0 browning hold mode. When you walk into the kitchen the next morning, it’s done.
For this post, however, I used a same-day method here and there are some subtle changes. The long hold that you would have had overnight does a lot to tenderize the shank and break down the collagen and fibers of the shank. That’s a good thing. I mean, who – besides your dog – wants to chew on a medium rare shank?
In this recipe the CVap is set for CONSTANT COOK. Press the constant cook button so that the light under it turns red. Set the Doneness to 180 + 6 Browning for 3 hours. During CONSTANT COOK, the browning temperature is engaged for the full roast period. It is necessary to hold for at least a few hours after the cook time is done to help tenderize the shanks. The CVap will still go to a 150+0 hold. By the way, if you are doing something like prime rib and your doneness is set below 150° F, the CVap will hold at the temperature you set with a 0 Browning. That’s how we can do a perfect rare or medium-rare prime rib overnight.
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs. veal shank
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 ea cloves garlic, crushed
8oz can tomato sauce
½ cup beef broth
½ cup white wine
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1. Preset unit to CONSTANT COOK 180/6/3:00, and allow approximately 30 minutes to preheat. Follow instructions below.
2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, and black pepper. Dredge meat in seasoned flour. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Sear meat. Take the time to make sure the sides are browned. It’s no fun holding a round thing with tongs to do the sides, but it’s worth it.
3. Remove meat from pan, and set aside.
4. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to drippings in pan. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, wine, basil, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Return meat to pan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
5. Place the contents of the saucepan into a hotel pan or a roasting pan. Make sure that the braising liquid is ¾ of the way up the shanks. Add more beef broth if you need to.
6. Place into CVap and press start. Make sure the timer starts and begins counting down. Go do something else for the next 5 hours or so. No dipping your bread into the pan after it starts to smell wonderful in your kitchen. Nona will hit you with a wooden spoon or throw a shoe at you. If you’re not Italian, you wouldn’t understand.☺
7. When you’re ready for service, pull the shanks out and strain the braising liquid. Shanks and stained liquid go back into the pan and into the CVap, and you’re done. Grab a shank and some sauce, then put it on polenta, rice, or just on a plate.
PRO TIP: I like to take an extra step of pureeing some of the strained bits, adding that to the broth and reducing it in a saucepan on the stove. Purists will scream foul at this step as it clouds the braising liquid, but I love the extra flavor it adds. Hold the shanks in the CVap while you do this. Whisking in a Beurre Manié (equal parts softened butter and flour) can speed up the process of creating that coat-the-back-of-the-spoon sauce to coat the plated Osso Buco.
Polenta with roasted crimini mushrooms and parmesan is my preferred plate liner for this. I noticed that the shanks did shrink away from the bone a lot more with this method vs. the high-yield method. It still tasted wonderful, but overnight might be the better route to enhance the plate presentation and yield.