Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Osso Buco with Parmesan Risotto

Osso Buco with Parmesan Risotto

First off, let me apologize for my absence last week. I had planned to prepare food for publication the weekend of the 18th and 19th but my schedule was altered when the power at my apartment was lost on Saturday just after 12 noon. Hungry with no way of cooking food because we only have an electric range, Mrs. Stuntman and I took our daughter to lunch at a local café and ended up seeing Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Then on Monday, my computer desktop crapped out on me so we had to replace it, so begrudgingly this is the first post with my new computer. It was almost a relief to spend my Saturday afternoon in the kitchen.

Speaking of new things, I also had to replace my Dutch oven recently because my old one got lost in the move. For me, it was a priority because they're ideal for cold weather dishes, so this represented an opportunity to use it. I especially like the oblong shape because the cooking surface is larger.

Long time readers might remember I prepared this dish about a year ago but I wasn't very happy with it. I had trouble keeping the shanks together and it also wasn't one of my better pictures. I still refuse to purchase saffron threads due to the cost, so I chose a neutral flavor for the accompanying starch. This dish was also partially inspired by the dinner I ate while I was away at Food and Wine Conference.

The Challenge

Improve upon a dish I published previously.

The Source

I adapted Giada's osso buco from foodnetwork.com and the risotto from Real Simple magazine's website.


1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, whole plus 1 clove garlic, minced, divided
4 veal shanks (I used ones that were about a half-pound each)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced plus 1 onion, chopped, divided
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plus 1 cup dry white wine, divided
3 to 4 cups plus 6 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tablespoons extra-vigin olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Special equipment:
Butcher's twine


1. Finish the mise en place. Place the 2 whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf onto the cheesecloth and tie together with some kitchen twine to create a bouquet garni. Tie some additional kitchen twine around each shank so the shank does not fall apart while simmering. Once secure, season the shanks with salt and pepper then dredge each shank in all-purpose flour.

2. Sear the shanks and flavor the sauce. Place the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the veal shanks to sear, approximately 3 minutes per side. Once browned, remove to a plate and reserve.

Next, add the diced onion, carrot and celery and brown the mirepoix, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and season the mirepoix with salt and pepper. Deglaze with 1 cup white wine and reduce by half.

Return the shanks to the pan and add the bouquet garni and 2 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer over low heat. Check the pan periodically to turn and to ensure the shanks are covered by the braising fluid, adding an additional 1 to 2 cups as necessary. Simmer until the meat is fork tender and falling off the bone, approximately 90 minutes.

3. Prepare the risotto while the osso buco simmers. Bring 6 cups chicken stock to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to low and keep warm. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add 1 chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove to sweat, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the Arborio rice to toast, approximately 2 minutes.

Deglaze with 1 cup white wine and stir continually until evaporated.

Add in the warm stock, 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at a time, and continually stir until absorbed before adding more. Start tasting the rice after 3 or 4 additions of stock and cook until the rice is al dente and suspended in stock, approximately 20 to 25 minutes total.

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, as necessary.

4. Finish the dish. Remove the veal shanks to a plate when finished, then remove and discard the twine. Spoon some risotto into warmed bowls and top with a veal shank. Spoon some of the braising fluid over the shanks, then garnish with parsley.


I'll confess that I failed to add the tomato paste to the mirepoix but it was still a delicious dish. The shanks held onto the bone too. I was also a little concerned that the flavor of parmesan cheese wasn't strong enough on its own but it held up because it was seasoned properly. Mrs. Stuntman enthusiastically enjoyed the dish too.

Speaking of Mrs. Stuntman, please welcome her to the food blogging community. She was also busy in the kitchen this past weekend and, for her inaugural dish, prepared a delightful vegetable side dish. I encourage you to click here to read all about it.


  1. I'd freak out if I lost my dutch oven! My brother in law gave me a le creuset that he wasn't using and it's one of my favourite things in the kitchen. Your new one looks fabulous! I love that you always challenge yourself to improve on dishes you weren't happy with. I'm glad that the osso bucco turned out for you this time and it still tasted amazing, even without the tomato paste (that's totally a Nancy-type move. There have been a lot of recipes I've made lately where I've omitted a few ingredients).

  2. looks really good. the risotto looks perfectly creamy.


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