Make Ahead

Spiced Osso Buco and Orzo Alla Milanese

October  6, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I learned to make Osso Buco which is based on the Milanese version that omits tomatoes and instead features the delicate flavors of some warm spices (allspice and ground cinnamon) and fresh bay leaves. I added paprika, which gave Osso Buco the deep reddish color instead of tomatoes. I like also that it is finished with a gremolata which adds a piquant citrus flavor. Traditional Osso Buco Alla Milanese is served with rice or orzo risotto that has been perfumed with saffron. What else is great about this recipe is that it can be made the day before you plan to serve it and improves with an overnight rest in the fridge. This Osso Buco, of course, can be served with a creamy polenta or even mashed potatoes to soak up all the delicious juices. I used this recipe for our families Rosh Hashanah diner and served it with the “Pearl Barley or Brown Rice and Root Vegetable Pilaf”, which I posted for last week’s contest. (Adapted from Kitchen Culinaire website). —Kukla

What You'll Need
  • For Osso Buco and Gremolata
  • 6 centre cut veal shanks, 10 to 12 ounces each
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 diced carrot
  • 2 diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups veal stock or chicken stock
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • • For the Gremolata
  • 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • For Orzo Milanese
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 cups Orzo pasta
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Take the veal shanks out of the fridge one hour before cooking so that they can come up to room temperature.
  2. Using kitchen twine tie each shank around the middle to secure the flesh. Season well on both sides of each shank with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan of Dutch oven over high heat. Place the shanks in the heated pan and sear to evenly brown on all sides. Depending on the size of your pan you will need to do this in batches.
  4. Take your time during this step, the shanks should not be touching one another in the pan and it will take a full 15 minutes to ensure that the shanks are well browned on all sides. Once the meat is a deep golden brown remove the shanks and place on a plate.
  5. Turn the heat down in the pan and add the onion, carrot and celery, garlic cloves and stir well. Cook over medium heat until the vegetable begin to caramelize approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and using a wooden spoon scrape up all the browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Place the shanks back into the pan making sure they are sitting flat, in a single layer with the bones facing upright. Add the stock, which should almost cover the shanks. If it doesn’t add a bit more stock or water. Add the bay leaves, allspice, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Cover with lid and place in the preheated oven.
  8. Cook for about 2 to 21/2 hours or until the meat is tender and you can cut it with a fork. Transfer the shanks to a plate and strain the broth into a clean saucepan.
  9. Press down on the vegetables to ensure that all the liquid is extracted. Skim the fat from the braising liquid and reduce the broth over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes until it thickens slightly. Check and adjust seasoning.
  10. Return the shanks to the Dutch oven and pour over the strained and thickened sauce. Gently heat through until the shanks are warmed through. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  11. Put the wine in a medium bowl and crumble the saffron threads between your fingers and then add to the wine. Warm the chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat and keep warm throughout the preparation.
  12. In a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter and then add the diced onion over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent but do not allow it to brown.
  13. Add the pasta and using a wooden spoon stir well to coat the pasta kernels in the fat and allow toasting slightly. Add the saffron infused wine and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  14. Stir in the warm chicken stock about half a cup at a time, stirring until each half cup of stock has been absorbed before adding more.
  15. Continue until all the stock has been added and the pasta is al dente. You may not need all of the stock or you may need a little more, taste as you go.
  16. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Mix together the lemon zest, chopped parsley and minced garlic in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  18. To serve: On heated dinner plates place a small mound of orzo in the centre of each plate. Remove the kitchen twine from the shanks and place a shank on top of the mound of orzo. Ladle some of the remaining braising juices over the meat and then add a pinch or two of the Gremolata on top. Repeat for the remaining plates. Serve at once.
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