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Osso bucco with orange, lemon and capers

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Osso bucco is a quintessential Italian dish, and literally means "bone with a hole". It originated in the Lombardy region and is a stew that is traditionally made with veal shank. However, newer versions are made with beef, lamb and in this case, mutton shanks. It is a slow-cooked stew that gives the meat time to absorb the flavors and become fall-off-the-bone tender. The marrow traditionally is extracted and mixed into the sauce on the plate, but I understand that this may be an acquired taste. It can be served with pasta, Roasted potato salad or Garlic mashed potatoes or sautéed spinach and bread. Most osso bucco is garnished with a gremolata, citrus zest, and parsey that help to off-set the richness of the dish and add some freshness.

The appearance of osso bucco at the dining table is greated with joy and signifies a luxurious meal full of flavor. This dish from David Tanis is no exception. It is infused with a hint of mushroom for a depth of flavor, it is cooked in white wine that adds a subtle tartness and the fresh gremolata is brightened with capers. The dish is rich and yet light, packed with flavor and the meat is succulent. This osso bucco is definitely staying on my client menus for sometime!

This cookbook is from David Tanis, one of my favorite chefs, is spectacular. Filled with tons of recipes from across the globe, sorted by country, this cookbook brings to your table fresh and healthy flavors and dishes. Davis Tanis' depth of knowledge on ingredients, food and cuisines is amazing.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the osso bucco:

10 lamb (or mutton) shanks

Salt, to taste

10 peppercorns

2 onions, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon thyme

2-3 cloves

2 dried porcini or chanterelle mushrooms

6-8 cups water

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups dry white wine

For the gremolata:

1 orange

2 limes or lemons

3 tablespoons parsley, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced finely or made into a paste

1 tablespoon capers, minced

Add the lamb shanks to the water and add the salt, pepper, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme, cloves and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and simmer.Scoop off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 hour covered. At the end of the hour the shanks should be cooked through and should start to contract on the bone.

Remove the shanks from the broth and set aside. Strain the solids from the stock and save for use later in the recipe. Remove the boiled mushrooms from the solids and set aside.

In the same pot, add the butter and melt on low heat. Add the flour and cook slowly till lightly golden. Make sure you have enough oil for the flour to fry and spread out in a thick paste. When lightly golden, add the tomato paste and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the saved stock and whisk to dissolve the roux into the stock. Mince the saved mushrooms and add to the stock. If the mix is lumpy, use a hand blender to smooth out the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook whisking all the time till you have a thickened sauce, that of heavy cream.

Heat the oven to 375 F.

Add the wine, mix in again and bring to a boil. Add the shanks to the sauce. Place the pot covered in the oven for 2 hours and allow to cook undisturbed. After the first hour check the pot, turn the meat over and make sure there are enough liquids in the pot. If you feel the liquids are not enough, add a touch of water. Remove after the two hours to check if the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. If not, cook again for another 15 minutes. Also check that there is enough liquids in the pot, if not add a touch more.

To make the gremolata, mix the parsley, garlic and the capers. I personally, like to grate the orange and lime zest over the meat directly, but you can mix it into this as a second option.

To plate and serve, lay a shank in the middle of the plate and pour over some of the sauce. Sprinkle some of the gremolata over the meat. Dust with large grain salt. Grate some of the orange and lime zest over the meat. serve with either Roasted potato salad or Garlic mashed potatoes.

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