Slow-cooked beef osso buco stew is a hearty, saucy, dish with the most fork-tender meat. The tomato and red wine sauce is rich and luscious, flavored with herbs like thyme and rosemary.
These braised veal shanks are the most soft and tender meat I have tasted so far. Shanks are always the most tender meat part of every animal. Because it's the part of the meat that's close to the bone and loaded with collagen. And when you slowly cook it, then amazing things begin to happen!
The meat gets super tender and the sauce gets mellow due to the collagen released from the meat and the bone.
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What Is Osso Buco?
As you may have guessed already, Osso Buco is veal shanks or beef shanks. It's the cut of meat coming from the leg of the animal, containing a large bone with marrow in the center. This cut of meat became popular from an Italian dish of Osso Buco with gremolata (herb, garlic, and lemon sauce).
Osso Buco Meaning
Osso Buco is an Italian name, meaning bone with hole osso=bone and buco=hole.
What Is Veal Osso Buco And How Does It Differ From Beef Osso Buco?
Veal Osso Buco differs from beef ossobuco in terms of meat age and price. Veal shanks come from a younger animal while beef shanks come from an older animal. Therefore, veal shanks are more tender and cook easier and quicker. On the other hand, beef shanks have tougher meat and need more cooking time to get tender.
This means veal shanks are more expensive than beef shanks. However, if you spare some extra time cooking beef shanks, they can be equally delicious and sometimes even tastier meat.
Greek-style Osso Buco
Greek-style veal Osso Buco recipe is cooked with red wine and a rich tomato sauce. Just like classic Italian Osso buco, it is braised in the oven. And I have to say, this is not a light dish even though it is missing the spices of a classic Kokkinisto beef stew, this is a truly hearty and filling comfort dish.
The base of this oso bucco sauce is made with semi-sweet red wine, tomato paste, and tomato sauce (Passata). The wine adds depth and sweetness to the tomato sauce while the slow cooking releases the bone marrow from the veal shanks, adding a gelatinous texture and a strong meaty flavor.
What Does Osso Buco Taste Like?
It tastes as strong as lamb does. Meaning they both have as much fat and a very strong meaty flavor. It's not a lean piece of meat, that's why it doesn't taste the same as veal or beef chuck for example.
Can I Use Pork Or Lamb Shanks?
Yes, you can make pork or lamb osso bucco following this recipe.
How To Cook Osso Buco
The best way is to cook Osso Buco in oven, after pan-searing it first. Braised Ossobuco is best because it cooks slowly and evenly and without falling apart from the bone like it usually happens when cooking on the stovetop.
So to cook delicious veal shank osso buco follow the steps mentioned below.
- Pan-sear the meat on the stovetop.
- Remove the meat and in the same pan start to prepare the sauce.
- Saute onions and add tomato paste, seasonings, and deglaze with the wine.
- Add the meat back into the pot.
- Add tomato sauce and stock and bring to a simmer.
- Cover with a lid and place in the oven.
- Cook until meat is tender to the point it falls off the bone (about 1 hour and 40 minutes overall for 1 kg / 2 to 2.5 pounds of meat).
What You Need To Cook It
You need some kitchen string to tie the meat so it won't separate from the bone while it cooks and to also keep its shape nicely. To cook this braised veal Osso Buco you also need either a Dutch oven or an oven-safe saute pan.
Here's what's best to serve with osso bucco: mashed potatoes, or rice pilaf (traditional Italian Osso Buco is served with Risotto alla Milanese which goes great with this recipe as well). I like serving it with steamed or roasted green beans on the side as it reminds me of another favorite dish of pork stew with green beans.
Braised Veal Osso Buco In Tomato Sauce
- kitchen string
- 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) Osso buco (veal shanks)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion minced
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- ⅔ cup semi-sweet red wine
- 2 whole garlic cloves no need to peel
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme minced
- 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable or chicken stock
- 250 grams (8.8 ounces) tomato sauce (Passata)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Prepare the meat. Tie the veal shanks with kitchen string to help them keep their shape and not fall apart while they cook. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Sear the meat until nicely browned on both sides. Remove the meat and set it aside. Turn the heat to low.
- Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute.
- Pour the wine and add the meat back into the pan. Let the wine cook down into a thick sauce.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and the stock.
- Add all the seasonings (bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, garlic cloves, paprika). Season with a little bit of salt as well.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and put the lid on.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
- Drop the oven's temperature to 160°C / 320°F and cook for 1 hour more.