Osso Buco Milanese‏: Best Paired with Bad Weather

Osso Buco Milanese‏: Best Paired with Bad Weather

It rained all day yesterday. Again.

To brighten our spirits, Ren made one of her signature dishes – osso buco with gremolata. This is the one dish that my mother-in-law craves for and requests on special occasions.

Since Ren was cooking for just two this time, she made it extra special by serving it on a bed of saffron risotto. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love the rich, yellow color from the saffron. Fork-tender and delicious (and with marrow!), she finished it off with a sprinkling of gremolata for some zing.

Perfect when paired with rain, this is just the right dish to warm the soul with on these cold, wet, dreary nights.

Osso Buco Milanese‏

Beautiful variety of colors and textures. Love that gremolata.
Osso Buco Milanese‏


  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1/2 kilo veal shanks
  • Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (400 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or low sodium broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 (three-inch long) strips of orange zest
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley

For Gremolata

  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leafed)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Remaining zest from orange used above
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic


  1. Prepare gremolata at least 1 hour before serving. Mix parsley, lemon and orange zests and garlic in bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  3. In large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat half of butter and olive oil. Add veal shanks, season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderate heat until well browned all over (approximately 10-15 minutes). Transfer shanks to large roasting pan and pour off fat.
  4. Heat remaining butter and olive oil in same skillet. Add garlic, onions, carrots, and celery, and cook over moderate heat until softened (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add wine, bring to a boil over moderately high heat, then simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, orange zest, oregano, basil and parsley. Bring to a boil. Pour mixture over veal and cover with foil. Bake in oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until veal shanks are very tender. Remove from oven.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Transfer veal shanks to large, deep baking dish, then cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  8. Pour sauce and vegetables into large saucepan, discarding strips of orange zest. Simmer sauce over medium heat until thickened (about 15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and pour over veal shanks.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until they are heated through. Serve with gremolata and risotto milanese – saffron risotto (recipe below).

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 3 Tbsps butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Good pinch of saffron
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Bring stock to a bare simmer.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in pan then cook onion gently until softened (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add rice and stir until well coated, then add wine. Let it evaporate completely before adding saffron.
  4. Pour in stock 1 ladleful or 2 at a time, while simultaneously stirring and scraping rice from bottom of pan. When each addition of stock has almost evaporated, add next ladleful.
  5. Risotto is ready when grains are soft, but still al dente (about 18-20 minutes). Turn off heat and beat in remaining butter and parmesan.


That properly cooked risotto, while being rich and creamy, must still be al dente and with separate grains? The traditional texture is fairly fluid, or all’onda, meaning “wavy” or “flowing in waves.” It is traditionally served on flat dishes so it can easily spread out without having excess watery liquid around the perimeter.

Risotto must be eaten at once since it continues to cook in its own heat and can thus become dry with the grains becoming too soft.

Original Source

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He’s the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don’t listen to him.

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