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The first time I had Osso Buco, a.k.a. Osso Bucco, it was a love at first sight. We stumbled upon a fancy old Italian restaurant while trying to find a place to eat in downtown Hartford, CT one winter night, before GPS or the Yelp era. We were famished and while we were a little conscientious about being underdressed, the host sat us down without hesitation. I think he sensed how hungry and weary we looked. Here is Osso Buco Under an Hour
The first item that jumped out of the menu was “Osso Buco“. It was served with Parmesan Mushroom Risotto and it sounded comforting on that cold wintry night. I never made Osso Buco before because I can be an impatient cook sometimes. To achieve the ‘fall-off-the-bone-tender’ meat, it consists of a few steps. It requires a heavy dutch oven for browning, and braising it in the oven for hours. Then, making the sauce and gremolata, if you desire. While I love the taste of slowly braised meats, I rather eat it in restaurants since it requires me to do just one thing. Ordering it.
And oh, boy. Was I glad I did because it was one of the best restaurant experiences I had. The meat was so flavorful, tender, and seasoned really well. I got inspired after that meal that I got industrious and made it at home a few times afterwards. And as expected, the process was laborious and exhausting. The result was great but it took too long and I needed to make two batches to make enough to feed a hungry family of four. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite dishes to eat but the least favorite to make. Until now.
What is Osso Buco?
Osso Buco, originally spelled “ossobuco” in Italian, is translated as “Bone” “Hole.” The “bone” is a shank bone with meat around a “hole” filled with marrow. The original dish is a Milanese speciality of a braised veal shank with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto. The modern version of Osso Buco is made with tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions.
Traditionally, veal shank is used for Osso Buco but since we don’t eat veal, I use the “Soup Bones” that are basically the same cut of the beef shank bone but from an older cow. It’s also cheaper and readily available from my local farmer. When I buy bones for making bone broth, I always buy knuckle bones for collagen and soup bones for the marrow and to add meat flavor to the broth. And now that I have the Instant Pot, I make Osso Buco with the soup bones. Just like Boeuf Bourguignon, the slow braising part is done in less than an hour in the Instant Pot. And the flavor is intense since no liquid or steam escapes so all the flavor stays in the pot while cooking under pressure.
Here is my tried and true Osso Buco recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis.
Osso Buco Under an Hour
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 whole soup bone shanks trimmed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All purpose flour or gluten free flour for dredging
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 1 small onion, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 small carrot, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 stalk celery, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Place the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cloves into cheesecloth and secure with twine. This will be your bouquet garni.
- Pat dry the soup bones with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. The shanks will brown better when they are dry.
- Tie the meat to the bone with kitchen twine.
- Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper and dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.
- Put Instant Pot on "Saute" and heat avocado oil.
- Add tied shanks to the hot and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove browned shanks and reserve.
- In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt.
- Saute until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and mix well.
- Return browned shanks to the pot and add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of the chicken stock or broth.
- Close the lid tightly and close the vent.
- Press "Manual" and set the timer to 45 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally.
- Carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and put them on a serving platter. Cut off the kitchen twine and discard.
- Remove and discard bouquet garni from the pot.
- Pour all the juices and sauce from the pot over the shanks.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.