Osso Buco - Beef Shanks - Recipe

    Recently I brought home some beef shanks from the farm market.  They are cross cut so that the bone is in the middle and the marrow is exposed.  Osso Buco is an Italian dish that braises veal shanks with vegetables in dry white wine and chicken broth.  It also includes a little tomato.  We can do the same with beef shanks as I have done here.

     I enjoy it because each one is a tender little serving in itself with it's own creamy bone marrow in the middle.  Braising the shanks allows beefy flavor to develop in the bone marrow.  It is incredibly satisfying to spoon out the gelatinous goodness with a tiny bit of salt sprinkled on top.  Use little spoons to reach down and get the marrow.

     It is often served with gremolata as a garnish or condiment.  Gremolata is often made with lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.  Different citrus zests can be used such as lime or orange.  Also, try other herbs for a variation.  I used orange zest instead of lemon zest and cilantro instead of parsley.  It may seem too strong when eaten on its own but never fear!  It is pure magic when combined with the rich osso buco!

Osso Buco

(Serves 4)

Beef shanks salt and peppered.
1-2 T. Palm Oil for frying
4 Veal or Beef Shanks
1 Onion chopped
8 Cloves Garlic chopped
2 Ribs Celery chopped
3 Carrots diced
1 1/2 c. White Wine
2 c. Chicken Broth divided
2 T. Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 tsp. Dried Rosemary
1/2 tsp. Basil
1 T. Butter
1 T. All Purpose Flour


(Makes 1/2 cup)

1/2 - 3/4 c. Cilantro finely chopped (measure after chopping)
1-2 Minced Garlic Cloves to taste
Zest of 1 Orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat.  Salt and pepper the beef shanks.  Brown the shanks on both sides.  Remove the meat and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Sauté until onions are softened.  Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze and incorporate the delicious brown bits.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, the tomato paste, and spices.

Place the shanks in the pot marrow side up, nestling them so they sit near the bottom of the pot.  Add enough of the reserved chicken broth until the liquid nears the top of the shanks.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven.  Braise for 1 1/2 hours until tender when pierced with a fork.  

Remove meat from the pot to a platter or dinner plate.  In a small bowl or cup, mix the butter and flour together with a fork until it forms a paste.  Bring the broth and vegetables to a simmer on low heat.  Add the butter/flour mixture whisking quickly to incorporate.  Simmer for a couple minutes to cook the flour.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Make the Gremolata.  With a fork, mix the cilantro and garlic together.  Then mix in the orange zest.

Spoon the vegetables alongside the beef shanks.  Sprinkle with gremolata.


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Mixing the gremolata.

Browned beef shanks.

Sautéing onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.

Ready to cover and braise.

Out of the oven.


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