3 lbs. Veal Shanks (If you can’t find veal, or the cost is prohibitive, you might try lamb shanks)
3-4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T Butter
1 Red Onion (coarsely chopped)
½ Green Bell Pepper (coarsely chopped)
½ Red Bell Peer (coarsely chopped)
3 Carrots (peeled and coarsely chopped)
1 large stalk Celery (coarsely chopped)
5-6 cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
1/3 cup Marsala Wine (or dry sherry)
1/3 cup Brandy
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Tomato Paste
1 sprig Rosemary
4 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
2 c Chicken Broth (Veal or beef stock can be substituted)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 T Italian Parsley (chopped)
1 clove Garlic (minced)
½ t Lemon Peel (grated)
1 T Lemon Juice
In a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, add 2 T olive oil over medium high heat. Season shanks with salt and pepper on both sides, then brown them on all sides. When browning is down, remove the shanks to a bowl to be added back in later.
In the same pan, reduce heat to low and add 2 T olive oil and butter or Butter Buds.
Add the onions, peppers, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir well to coat, then cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. (This will allow the vegetables to release their juices.
Add the Marsala or sherry and the brandy, also the balsamic vinegar. Stir in well, cover again, and let simmer on low for about 6-8 minutes.
Make a “bouquet garni” out of the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. (Wrap them in cheese cloth and tie with cooking twine.) Add this to the simmering vegetables, along with the tomato paste. Increase heat to medium-high and add the shanks and chicken, veal or beef stock. Stir both in well to mix with vegetables.
When broth is boiling, reduce heat to low again and cover. Cook for about 1-1 ½ hours. Veal should be “falling off the bone” tender after an hour or less. Lamb or beef might take a full hour and a half to reach maximum tenderness. Falling off the bone is probably not going to happen with lamb or beef, but the meat should be very tasty and quite tender.
Garnish with gremolata, and serve the osso buco with the above-mentioned risotto, or with creamy mashed potatoes.
In keeping with true gourmet cooking, here are a couple of variations for you:
1. Add either a 14 oz. or 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes at the point you add the Marsala and the brandy.
2. At the end of cooking, mix 1 cup of sour cream with 1 T of flour. Stir into the osso buco and remove from the heat. (This would give you a German version. Call it German Veal Shank Stew!)