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Monday, June 4, 2012

Osso Buco Milanese

During a cooking class on my recent trip to Italy, Chef Raffaele gave us some sound advice.  "if you don't have access to fresh, vine ripened tomatoes, use canned!". Looking at the insipid, flavourless offerings that are available at the  moment, I heeded his advice when making this meal!

On my recent shopping spree in Haberfield I picked up some lovely looking veal osso  buco, and some lamb shanks (amongst many other wonderful offers!).  After a cold, wet time at the rugby yesterday, where we watched the game from the protection of an overhanging rock cliff, I gave DH the choice, of either Osso Buco with Parmesan Polenta, or Tunisian Style Lamb Shanks for dinner.  Osso Buco won!

In the current edition of Good Taste Magazine, Tobie Puttock shows us his version of this famous Milanese dish.  Everyone tweaks it just a little, and calls it their own version, but the base ingredients pretty much stay the same.  Although Wikipedia does state that Osso Buco comes in two varieties - the  modern version which is based on a tomato sauce, with the obligatory soffritto as it's base, or the old version which is bianco or "white", with no tomatoes and is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaves and gremolata.

Tonight's version is the modern take.

Osso Buco Milanese 
Adapted from recipe found  in Good Taste Magazine, by Tobie Puttock 

Serves 4-6 

3/4 cup plain flour
8 pieces veal osso buco
Extra virgin olive oil
2 small brown onions, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled, finely chopped
2 large sticks celery, finely chopped 
6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes 
100g pancetta, chopped
12 fresh sage leaves
3 springs fresh rosemary
2-3 dried bay leaves (depending on size)
2/3 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock


Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste
1 clove garlic, finely grated

Parmesan Polenta 

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup polenta
40g butter
60g grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 220 degrees.  

 Place the flour on a large flat plate, season with salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the veal, and turn to coat, shaking off the excess.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over high heat. Cook the veal,  in batches, for 2-3 minutes each side, or until browned.  Transfer to a plate.

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic for 5-10 minutes, or until soft.  Stir in the pancetta, tomatoes, sage, rosemary, and bay leaves.  Stir for 5 minutes, or until aromatic. Add the veal, and the wine. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to the boil.  Cover, and bake for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, check.  At this stage if there is a lot of liquid, you may want to cook for the next 30 minutes uncovered, make sure it doesn't burn on top though!

To make the gremolata, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Reserve.

To make the polenta, bring the water and chicken stock to the boil in a medium sized saucepan.  While stirring the liquid, add the polenta to the pan in a thin stream, while continuously stirring.

Stir the mixture for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened and the grains are soft.

Quickly add the butter and Parmesan cheese.  Stir to incorporate well.

To serve place a small amount of polenta on a serving plate.  Top with a piece of osso buco, some sauce, and then a sprinkling of gremolata.

Nothing warms soul more that a beautiful, flavourful casserole!

This meal certainly had us slurping at the bones to get out that rich marrow!

Good choice DH!  Guess that means lamb shanks next week!  That's something to look forward to!

So Dear Readers what is the best piece of cooking advice you have been given? Chef Raffaele also told us that when basil is bountiful, place it, unwashed in a large glass jar, and keep in the fridge.  I have had great success with this one - it lasts for at least 2 weeks!!


  1. I've heard the same advice about tomatoes and they say to buy the Italian tinned tomatoes! :D this looks wonderful Cate and I'm so glad that you had a wonderful time in Italy! :D

  2. I love Osso Buco but have not had it for ages. Time I had a go myself, thanks for sharing. Diane

  3. i love the basil tip!! cooking class in Italy......i'm am very jealous :) sounds so wonderful.
    this dish looks so delicious too :)