I don’t know what the deal is with my romantic notions around Osso Bucco. I’ve seen so many recipes throughout the years but for some reason, the cut, which used to be dirt cheap until it hit its stride with foodies, always intimidated me. It had to be difficult to cook. I just didn’t want to tackle it. I have a work-friend who talks cooking with me and she constantly mentions Osso Bucco and all the ways she works it into recipes. I had all these descriptions floating around in my brain when I walked by a couple of gorgeous packages in the market and decided to get over myself and make them. Then I put them in the basement deep freezer where they alternatively taunted me and fell out of my consciousness.
There’s a big push to work through the hoard of meat in the freezer right now, so when I started digging through the stacks, I came across these humble Osso Bucco pieces and decided to throw caution to the wind. I went simple here, preparing them much like I’ve prepared short ribs so many times, and the sauce was out of this world delicious. So much so, that I might incorporate some of this method into a beef vegetable soup later this winter.
I served this with some instant polenta that you can eat plain or mixed with parmesan cheese.
One way to make Osso Bucco
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 4 ounces olive oil
- 4 lbs oxtails or Osso Bucco
- 2 medium Spanish onions finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 oz pancetta chopped
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 12 ounces dry red wine
- 12 ounces beef or chicken broth
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme tied in a small bundle
- In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. In a lidded Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the Osso Bucco in the flour mixture, then, working in batches, sear in the oil, turning until all sides are brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Add onions and cook over medium-high heat until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic and pancetta. Continue cooking until the garlic softens and the pancetta begins to render, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and stir until it begins to darken, about 1minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up all the delicious brown bits on the bottom and sides of the pot. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
- Return the Osso Bucco to the pot with any accumulated juices. Add the carrots, celery, and thyme. Cover and cook over very low heat for 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes so the fat can settle on top, then skim it off. Check the seasoning. Yum.