Osso Buco – Braised Beef Shank
OMG, this is so super awesome, and easier than pie. And I swear there is no way anyone can tell that you did not labour over a hot stove for four hours or more. Go ahead, bask in the glory, no need to tell them. But it totally cooks itself while you’re at work, the only thing to do when you get home is to make the risotto (or I guess polenta or pasta in a pinch) and I have a maybe not totally authentic but very totally labor saving version for that as well 😉
The flavor factor is off the charts but for one person, well I guess it would have fed two, really, but I like leftovers and if you’re nice you’d probably want to serve one beef shank per person, so get this, the meat for one only cost me $3.55-$1 (coupon)=$2.55. And that really is for two meals. There are also a carrot, a piece of celery, onion and some tomatoes in there, but you all agree the big ticket item is generally the meat. Striving to be more frugal, like ‘K’ over at the $35 a week project. I admire how she can make a dollar last!
Even though the recipe tastes like a million bucks, it definitely isn’t one you have to crack the piggy bank open for, so put the hammer down… and get the crock pot out!
The trick to making this taste like the original, comes from two essential steps: browning the meat before cooking and thickening the sauce after cooking. The rest is taken care of while you are gone. Added bonus? The delicious smell all over the kitchen when you get home at night!
- 1 beef shank (about .7lb) (Osso Buco is traditionally veal, but beef works wonderfully)
- 1/4 cup flour for dredging
- 2 tbsp butter or oil
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ rounds
- 1 small celery stalk
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 can (14oz plum tomatoes)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 small sprig rosemary
- 1 cup dry white wine
- about 1 1/2 to 2 cups beef broth (depending on the size of your beef shank)
- salt& pepper to tast
- 1 tbsp lemon peel, finely diced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely diced
- 1 tsp minced garlic (from on small clove)
- Season beef shank all over with salt and pepper. Put flour in a wide, shallow dish, dregdge the beef shank in the flour, then shake off excess flour.
- Heat 2 tbsp butter (or oil) in a skillet, when hot, add the beef shank. Cook until golden brown, turning once (It is important you don’t go and turn it over multiple times, or it will not brown properly) about 8 minutes. Beef will cook more later, this is just to give it more flavor. Transfer beef to slow cooker.
- Add white wine and the broth to same skillet, scrape up any browned bits, then add the onion, carrot, tomato and celery. Bring to a boil, then transfer all to slow cooker insert.
- Cook for 6-8 hours
- To thicken the sauce, pour it out of the slow cooker (careful, insert is HOT, use gloves) into a sauce pan and boil on the stove top for 15 minutes or until thickened. No need to make sure it’s just the liquid, if the vegetables come along, that’s fine. (If you used too much broth, and it is still very liquid after 15 minutes, you could always thicken it with some flour or corn meal)
- To make Gremolata: Finely chop the lemon zest, garlic and parsley, serve the Osso Buco topped with Gremolata and a side of Risotto Milanese
This is when I remembered the sauce and the gremolata to put on top, with extra lemon peel, because it’s so good 😉
And yes, I did lick the plate… Shhht!, no one saw me…
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