Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table"
In the past I have always made an Italian version. After all, the Italians named this dish and theirs is the typical interpretation. However, Dorie has a French version that looks yummy and that is what I am making today.
Osso buco is veal shank and it means 'bone with a hole'. The shank is sawed into 3-inch slices and has a nice round bone filled with marrow. The marrow is one of the reasons that this dish is so revered. Spoon the marrow onto a piece of crusty bread, sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy.
Because this dish is braised for 2 hours there is always the chance that the meat will fall apart and lose its shape. Although it adds another step, if you tie the meat with kitchen string before braising will hold the shape for a nice presentation. Just snip the string and remove before plating. Your butcher may have already tied it with string.
This recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance of serving and then gently reheated on the stovetop or in the oven. Dorie's recipe used orange zest rather than lemon but I didn't have any oranges today. The lemon was also nice. Don't be afraid to use it liberally. It did not overpower the other flavours.
1 cup water
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp herbes de Provence
4 oz thick tomato sauce
2 medium roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 c chicken stock
2 3-inch slices veal shank
2 large carrots
Preheat oven to 325F.
Remove the zest from the lemon with a vegetable being careful not to get any of the white pith. Pour water into small saucepan, add lemon zest and heat to boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Gently heat a Dutch oven over medium heat with about 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onions, garlic, herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, chicken stock and a splash of the water that the lemon zest was cooked in. Reserve the rest of the lemon zest water.
Season sauce with salt and pepper and gently simmer while you prepare the osso buco.
With a large heavy pan heat it over medium high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Pat osso buco dry and season lightly with pepper. Lightly brown in pan. When browned on both sides remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.
Pour oil out of pan and use the rest of the lemon zest water to deglaze and pick up all nice little brown bits and add this to the sauce in the Dutch oven.
Add a couple of strips of the lemon zest to the sauce. Scatter the carrots over the veal. Cover the mixture with a piece of parchment paper that fits the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Oven braise in the oven for 2 hours undisturbed with the lid on. Remove from oven, remove lid and parchment paper. It should be fork tender. Skim off as much fat from the surface as you can before serving.
Serve with rice pilaf and a lemon olive salad.