Osso Buco: My first attempt at a classic

For the new year, I want to try to make some dishes that I can both enjoy cooking and enjoy eating in “leftover” form.  That means fewer cafeteria lunches and (hopefully) more organized meals.

As it’s a holiday (my last day off: I haven’t been to work since the 23rd of December) I decided to go all out and make something special!  I’ve always wanted to make Osso Buco and there was a version on MasterChef Australia (I’m currently watching Season 3) that inspired me to finally try it!  I decided to stick to epicurious, as I’ve had some great success from the Gourmet and Bon Appetit archives in the past.

Recipe: Osso Buco with Tomatoes, Olives, and Gremolata


I obtained my veal shanks from Siesel’s Meats as I live fairly close and I was able to stop at the Stehly Farms Market on the way and pick up the required vegetation.  I used Carol Shelton’s Coquille Blanc for the wine and a can of San Marzano tomatoes: everything else was pretty much fresh, organic, and unlabeled.

Side note: I live within walking distance of a 7-days a week farm market (with a GREAT selection of some VERY tasty organic produce) and one of San Diego’s best butchers.  This is a great part of town!

Cooking went generally according to the recipe, though I had some notes:

  • I don’t have a “good” lid for my roasting pan (I have a VERY nice pan, but that’s for another post), so I had to braise with an aluminum foil lid.  Aluminum, stainless steel and tomatoes cooking for several hours in the oven?  BAD IDEA!  So to get around that, use a parchment paper “lid” then wrap THAT in aluminum foil: no contact between acid (tomatoes) and aluminum means no battery!  Great!
  • I knew that the marrow might not be as popular with everyone else as it would be with me, so I cooked up some mushrooms with some of the braising liquid and added the marrow into that: delicious!  Super meaty mushrooms, a wonderful side!
  • When serving I was so looking forward to it that I completely forgot the gremalata.  D’oh!  Maybe I’ll mix it up to serve with the leftovers.


  • This tasted like the best beef stew imaginable.  It was very rich, but the flavour profile was just that: beef stew.  I love beef stew, but I’m not sure I’ll make this again any time soon, because:
  • Veal shanks are STUPID expensive.  Like “I could get prime rib cheaper” expensive.  While I’m fine with it for a special holiday like this one, I think I would rather use beef short ribs or something else comparable in the future (even though that will change both the texture and flavour profile.)
  • It was actually very easy to make: some time required to brown the meat and get the veggies started, but then largely just “wait until it’s done.”

I’m looking forward to leftovers later this week 🙂

Rating: 4.5/5 stars : wonderful dish, totally love it, but DAMN pricey.

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