Our Saturday evening was completely open, so I thought it would be nice to hang out at home and have a nice relaxing evening and make veal osso buco for dinner, which is another one of my favorite meals. The great thing about osso buco is that it is mostly hands off.  After you do some chopping and sauteing, it cooks low and slow for a couple of hours.  So it is a great dish to entertain with because it doesn’t require a lot of last minute attention.  It just simmers on the stove until you’re ready to eat, which is also great when you want to have a leisurely evening with your family.

Osso buco is a rustic dish made with veal shanks and simple ingredients that you probably have on hand.  When you serve it, you top it with gremolata, which is a mixture of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest, it’s super flavorful and makes the dish pop.  I found the recipe that I use years ago in a Reader’s Digest cookbook, of all places and it is absolutely delicious!

     Veal Osso Buco
Adapted from Reader’s Digest “Great Recipes for Good Health”
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 veal shanks (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup parlsey
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 8 oz orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions
Start by chopping all of your vegetables, so everything is ready to go.
In a heavy, deep 12- inch skillet or a 5 quart dutch oven, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over medium high heat, when pan is very hot, add the veal and brown about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a plate.
Please excuse my VERY well used dutch oven!
 Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining butter, the onion, carrot, celery, and half the garlic to the skillet and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Once the vegetables are tender, add the wine

Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally to loosen any browned bits, for about 2 minutes.
Return the veal and its juices to the skillet and add the tomato, bay leaf, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours or until the meat is tender, but not falling off the bones.
Stir the basil in, right before serving.
To make the gremolata, take the chopped parsley, remaining garlic and lemon zest and combine.  With a large knife, continue chopping the ingredients until very finely chopped and combined with each other.
Beautiful, isn’t it!
To serve, put some of the cooked orzo into a shallow dish, top with a piece of veal and some of the vegetables and sauce.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp of the gremolata over the top.  ENJOY!

Shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals on 10/2/11

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