There was this episode on Masterchef Australia 2014 where the contestants had to guess the name of a classic dish when the cloche is lifted. Osso Buco was one of the array of classic dishes in that episode and it caught my eye and attention. Anyway, one day I was walking along this row of old shops and there was a butcher shop which I decided to check it out. To my surprise they sell lovely Osso Buco cuts at a fairly cheap price. Woolsworth/Coles Osso Buco is overpriced and I have always dismissed the idea of buying knowing that I am not paying for a quality cut. And no way it was as fresh as the one I saw at the butcher place. I was overjoyed, my dream has come true!
Osso Buco in Italian means a bone with a hole, with a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank. Long hours of cooking makes this cut really tender so slow cook is the way to go. If you have a pressure cooker, it is even better as it helps to speed up the process. Like any other stewing recipes, the meat is lightly dusted in flour and then browned prior to submerging the meat into liquid. This way, not only it thickens the stewing liquid (due to starch in the flour) but it gives a richer and deeper complex flavour. The entire cooking process with my slow cooker took me 2 hours. I could have let it cook longer but I was too hungry for dinnertime (it was a weeknight and dinner is supposed to be quick!). I stored partial of it overnight and reheated the next day, and found that the meat was softer, melts-in-the-mouth texture. I have also learnt that the next time I cook this, I would tie the cut with a kitchen string around the meat, so it doesn’t disintegrate from the bone marrow and the shape stays nicely round. Well, there would be next time, for sure
Recipe adapted from Julie Goodwin
- ½ cup plain flour
- 4 veal osso buco (around 1.2 kg)
- 2 tbs oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 brown onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups white wine
- 1 ½ cups veal or beef stock
- 1 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat the osso buco in the flour. Be careful to shake off the excess flour, otherwise it will burn in the pan.
- In a large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over a medium-high heat. Brown the osso buco 2 until golden, and transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Lower the heat to medium. With the last tablespoon of oil, add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent but not brown.
- Add tomato paste to the vegetables and cook for a further minute.
- Into the pan, add wine, stock, tomatoes and bay leaves. Add any of the leftover flour from coating the osso bucco.
- Place the vegetable mixture into the slow cooker. Make sure all the meat is submerged in the liquid – any meat poking out the top will be tough and dry.
- Put the lid on and leave for 3-5 hours. Check from 3 hours onwards, and when the veal is soft and falling away from the bone, it is ready.
- When the meat is cooked, if the sauce needs to be thickened further, remove the meat and keep under foil. Pour the sauce into a pot and place on a medium-low heat back on the stove top and boil until the sauce is as thick as you like it. Be careful to keep stirring so nothing burns.
- Serve on mashed potato, Milanese risotto or soft polenta.