Ossobuco is a classic Italian dish that is a winter favourite and just as good any time of year. Veal shin with the bone is used but it is equally good made with beef shin. This relatively cheap cut of meat becomes so tender that is falls apart at the touch of a fork. Ossobuco alla Fiorentina is a tomato based version and is braised long and slow in a rich tomato sauce. Served traditionally with polenta or mashed potatoes it is an unforgettable dish. Included is the recipe for gremolata, a mix of lemon zest, finely chopped parsley and garlic that is traditionally added to ossobuco at the end of cooking and as a garnish at serving time.
Ossobuco alla Fiorentina
- 4 pieces of ossobuco, shin veal or beef
- 1 large onion
- 1 large stalk of celery
- 1 large carrot
- 1 x 400 g bottle of tomato passata
- 1 Tblsp tomato paste
- 2 Tblsp of olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- Plain flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup of home made chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- finely grated zest of a lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
- 1 bunch of parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped (should make about a loose cupful)
- Preheat oven to 150º C F
- Pat dry the pieces of ossobucco shin veal or beef with kitchin paper
- Sprinkle the pieces with sea salt and grind black pepper over each piece. Turn and season the other side. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot
- Dredge the ossobuco pieces in flour, shaking off the excess and set aside
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a knob of butter in a large frypan on a medium high heat
- When butter foams, brown the pieces of ossobuco well then turn and brown on the other side. Then remove to the baking dish and set aside covered.
- Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the frypan. When hot add the finely chopped vegetables, lower the heat, cover and cook slowly for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally
- When the vegetables have softened stir in the cup of wine and cook till it has nearly evaporated.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute
- Stir in the tomato passata and the cup of stock adding a little extra water if the sauce is too thick
- Add the chopped rosemary, bay leaf and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the sauce over the ossobuco pieces in the baking dish, lifting each piece to allow the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour and then turn the pieces of ossobucco and add a little extra liquid if needed to ensure the ossobuco pieces are covered by the sauce
- Cook for another hour
- Meanwhile prepare the gremolata by mixing together the lemon zest, parsley and garlic, reserving a little for serving.
- Five minutes before the ossobuco is finished cooking, stir through the gremolata to allow the flavours to infuse into the ossobuco
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes and then serve with an extra sprinkle of gremolata and with your choice of polenta or mashed potatoes.
For those that work, this recipe can be made in the slow cooker and cooked on low for 8-10 hours. Prepare the vegetables and tomato the night before. (steps 4, 8-12) Then next day heat up the tomato sauce in the microwave. Just season the meat and brown it, then place the pieces in the slow cooker. Pour over the sauce then set on low and when you get home a delicious dinner is ready for you.
Growing your own ingredients: