Osso Bucco

Making Osso Bucco isn't intended to be intimidating, it just has a fancy Italian name. This method is really quite simple, once you understand a little of what's going on. Here we are using an oven method to braise our shanks. If you are more comfortable with a stove top braise, refer to our recipe for Lamb Shanks. It can also be done in a slow cooker, but be aware there is such a thing as being "over-cooked" should you completely forget about it.

Before I dive right in to the recipe, I've found that with our grass-fed cattle there is very little fat to work with. That being the case, one should consider some way to tenderize the meat, and of all the ways to do this I would suggest a marinade. Recognizing that the tomatoes we use in the recipe also provide some acid to help soften the proteins, use the marinade sparingly and for a short duration; no more than an hour or two.

Ingredients for the Marinade

(use only 1/2 - 3/4 cup of marinade per lb. of beef)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS ground mustard
3 minced gloves of garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt

        Ingredients for the Osso Bucco

4 shanks                                3 minced cloves of garlic
salt & pepper to taste           3/4 cup dry red wine
extra-virgin olive oil              2 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS butter                           28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
2 medium onions, diced                 keeping the juices
2 stalks celery, diced              1 cup beef broth
2 carrots, diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme

1. Make the marinade as described, pouring it over the thawed shanks in a gallon zip-lok bag and setting in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Make sure all sides of the  shanks have been exposed to the marinade.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the shanks from the marinade and pat dry.
3. Once at room temperature (about 20 - 30 minutes), sear both sides of the shanks in a 4" skillet under medium-high heat. Remove the shanks and place them in a roasting pan.
4. Add a little wine to the skillet and scrape any meat stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, along with the butter, melt and then add the onions, celery, carrots, oregano, and thyme and cook until the onions are transluscent. Add the garlic, stirring so it doesn't burn. If the mix requires some liquids, add a bit more wine. 
5. Add the remainder of the wine. along with the tomato paste. Stir until thoroughly mixed, then add the diced tomatoes and broth, plus some salt and pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon of each. Bring to boil.
6. Pour the mixture over the shanks and place in the oven. Cook until
fork  tender but not so much that it falls apart. Cooking should take
about  1 1/2 to 2 hours; after an hour check every 20 minutes or so
to determine doneness. Remove from oven and pour vegetables
and liquids into a saucepan. Using an immersion blender, make a
tomato sauce from these cooked remains. 
7. Serve with noodles, risotto or polenta, ladling the sauce as it