Yes, this is osso buco stew, not osso buco. Why? Mainly because sometimes I am lazy. I did not want to have to check it and baste it, especially since it was an amazing miracle that the pot I cooked it in even fit in my countertop oven. Yes, I slow cooked osso buco for nearly 4 hours in a fancy toaster oven. And know what? It worked The veal (queues de veau) was totally fall off the bone fork tender and flavorful. To be lazy, I added more liquid so that the entire thing really stewed. Another part of my lazyness is that I didn’t feel like carrying cans of stewed tomatoes the half mile back with me from the grocery store, so just used some tomatoes I already had in the kitchen instead. I also used leeks instead of onions, and then, I didn’t even serve it over the classic risotto milanese. I just dished it up in a bowl and we devoured it. At this point I probably shouldn’t even be allowed to call it osso buco anymore haha – so I call it osso buco stew.
But then I am one for breaking all the rules and being more concerned about cooking and eating what suits me than getting everything exactly right. I think the world does not need to be quite so worried about doing everything exactly the same. It’s one of the beauties of cooking, because like an art, you cannot help but add your own colors to the canvas that is the food we eat. What would the state of art be if impressionist artists had to see the world exactly as Monet did, or if we all had to listen to music by one composer? Well Monet is a bad example because I love his works and would never tire of seeing them. But you get the idea – creativity and diversity of thought are good things, and no one benefits from cooking everything the same way. That is not to say that people should not learn the proper skills to cook, because understanding how to use the tools you have to work with is important – but a recipe is not a technique, it is an idea, a personal and unique expression. Sometimes I think we should not be so fussy to get every detail just right, and be able to play.
I’m not saying that is an excuse for me being lazy and not wanting to carry cans of stewed tomatoes back with me – but my end creation was something a little different and yet still satisfying. In fact, it was perfect on a cool blustery Winter day that desperately tried to be Spring.
Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Osso Buco, a recipe I saw on Nook & Pantry because sadly my copy of her classic Italian book is in a box somewhere over 6000 miles away. This is one book I really regret not bringing with me.
1 kilo veal shanks or other meat if you can’t translate well into the foreign language that you live in.
around 1.5 cups flour (I used gluten free corn flour)
a few tablespoons olive oil
2 cups white wine
1 carrot, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 medium sized juicy tomatoes, diced
3 -4 cups chicken broth
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat up a large pot (the one you are going to bake in) on the stove and add some olive oil. Coat the shanks in flour, and then sear quickly on all sides in the skillet. Once seared, set on a plate.
EDIT – This is where google translate is not how I should learn French or my cuts of meat – so while queues de veau totally translates to veal shanks in google translator, I had in fact purchased tail instead. SO sorry to those of you who read this wrong earlier!. Ha I was wondering why they were so tiny, sometimes I can be quite dense at times. Either way, no matter which cut you use, as long as it is a tougher cut, this method of cooking will make a tender and flavorful stew.
2. Deglaze the pan with about a cup of white wine and add in your veggies, except for the tomatoes. Let them cook until softened a bit, and then nestle the veal shanks on top of the veggies. Add in the tomatoes, seasonings, the rest of the wine and then finish by adding broth until the veal shanks are just submerged. Cover the pot and bake it in the oven.
3. The time to cook will depend on the size of your veal shanks, but plan on at least 2 hrs. Mine took 4. If too much water evaporates, you will need to add some more. It is ready when and only when the meat is literally falling off of the bone.
4. When done, serve with the seasoned broth for a delicious hearty stew. I would say adding some potatoes to this would be tasty as well.
Cooking Note – You may want to thin out the broth a bit before serving, because it will definitely be closer to a stock than a broth after slow roasting this type of meat.
Photography Note – Yes, that is real steam coming off of the stew – there were no tricks done to make the steam appear in that photo – it was such a cool effect to see through my lens!
Also submitted to – What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free?