"Osso Buco" Stew, Sorta OK Not Really

by Jenn on March 4, 2010

in Budget,Dairy Free,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats,Soups,Wine


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
bay leaf
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?


MaryMoh March 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Mmmmm…..love this type of soup, especially with wine added. It’s very warming and perfect for this cold freezing weather. Thanks for sharing.

Aubree Cherie March 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I’ve never cooked anything with veal before, but I have a feeling I would gobble this soup right up! It looks so tasty! The photo is beautiful too; but your photos always are! :)

ashley March 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

looks delicious! love the steamy photo!

Jenn March 4, 2010 at 10:12 pm

@ashley – Thanks! I hardly ever am able to capture steam in a pic, I was super fortunate with this one!

Valérie March 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I love, love, love osso bucco. And really, call it a stew or not, if it’s made from veal shanks and the meat is super tender, there’s just no going wrong! I’ve recently made this with porc shanks, and it was quite good as well.

Jenn March 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

@ Valerie Ha that is true! I bet pork shanks would work really well!

Alta March 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

This sounds divine. Love the steam – it makes it feel so warm, even if it is cold outside!

lo March 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Nothing wrong with being a bit lazy every now and again… especially if it results in osso bucco!!

Andrea March 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

You must have a crazy toaster oven! I love the idea of osso buco stew. All of the flavor and less of the fuss.

Cooking Rookie March 4, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I have lamb shanks. That’s what I am going to do with them :-). Thanks!

Gluten Free foods ROCK March 5, 2010 at 12:36 am

Looks good, great pictures

ron March 5, 2010 at 4:22 am

veal shanks? the photo shows ox tail, or some kind of tail. The distinctive joint and the fatty outer layer can’t be missed.

Nic (Wheeling Gourmet) March 5, 2010 at 4:59 am

Alas! I haven’t been able to find veal, much less veal shanks in yonks. This looks good though, very good. So good my mouth is salivating!

Jenn March 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

@ron – Thanks for the clarification, this shows I should learn not what cuts of meat are by using google translator while living in a country where I do not speak the language! I updated my recipe to clarify. Queues de veau totally translates to veal shanks using google translator, and silly me saw that they were really small for what I thought lamb shanks were but because google translator had translated it as veal shanks I figured I shouldn’t second guess it. haha that taught me, no wonder the price was so cheap too! agh moral of my story – I should not learn via google translator and rely on my common sense. Thanks for pointing this out, really.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table March 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

Shank or tail, that still looks like a damn fine stew!

Stella March 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I love Osse Bucco and this soup looks so good, Jenn. I could eat a bowl for breakfast!

Stella March 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Mmh, despite my Italian name, I can’t even spell ‘Osso Buco’ when I’m looking right at it (smile)…

Linda March 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Since I had no idea what osso buco was until reading this, I certainly don’t mind that you changed it to meet your needs. I’m with you on that. Be creative and do what works for you. Thanks for participating in the soup carnival.

ron March 6, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for clarifying Jenn. I grew up eating ox-tail and I think it’s fantastic. I should have mentioned this earlier that the recipe sounds delicious. I will have to try it. Honestly, it was the ox-tail image in your photo that made me curious about this dish. I guess now you’ve unexpectedly made ox-tail and I hope you enjoyed it like I do. Hope to see more good stuff.

Jenn March 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm

@ron Yes it was awesome! I will definitely be using this cut of meat again!

Ariane March 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm

This looks amazing although I am not sure I would want to do a stew since my favorite part of osso buco is the marrow… I have also had really good luck using gestures: mime on your leg/body which part of the meat you want so you would sort of make those chopping gestures on your shin for this(worked great in Japan).

Shirley @ gfe March 9, 2010 at 4:47 am

It is very delicious looking! I’ve heard of osso buco, but didn’t know what it was. Looks so good, seriously. I like shortcuts/”lazy” methods. 😉


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