Osso bucco is an Italian dish of slow-braised veal. In this recipe, it comes with a hearty tomato sauce with lots of herbs. Served with pasta, it’s a great dish for the winter season.
As well a being one of Italy’s best known dishes, it’s probably also the most misspelled one. Osobuco, ossobucco, osso bucco are all in use but unfortunately wrong. The correct spelling is ossobuco or osso buco, which literally means “bone with hole”. This of course describes the cut of meat that goes into the dish: a cross-cut veal shank. This cut has a large piece of bone in it, with a marrow hole in the middle.
Ossobuco is originally a Milanese dish and comes in two versions. The oldest version is called ossobuco in bianco. This version contains cinnamon and is served with saffron risotto and gremolata. The more modern versions of ossobuco tend to contain tomatoes and can be served with polenta, mashed potatoes or even pasta.
This recipe is definitely inspired by those modern versions. It has a tomato-based sauce with lots of herbs and a bit of orange peel to add depth of flavour. As with all versions of braised meat, preparation will take some time. It’s totally worth it however.
There is just one final thing to keep in mind when you eat ossobuco. Remember that “bone with hole”? Well, that hole isn’t empty. It’s actually filled with rich, delicious marrow. Don’t forget to eat this marrow, it just happens to be the best bit!
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