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Oct 10, 2002 11:10 AM


  • m

I plan to make veal Osso Buco this weekend, which will of course require a veal shank. I normally get my meats at Bread & Circus, but I don't like their veal. Where in Greater Boston (preferably Cambridge, Boston, or Brookline) can I find a really good butcher?

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  1. the absolute best for any special occasion is on Beacon Street in Newton Center, John Dewer's, where many of the best restaurants in Boston get their meat.

    10 Replies
    1. re: paul

      Epicurean in the South End gets it's meat from Dewars.

      1. re: 9lives

        Thanks, folks! I knew I could count on the Chowhounds. I will try both Sulmona's and Dewar. And if it turns out well, I'll post the recipe.

        1. re: Mike D

          The key to a good osso bucco is to cook it at very low temperature for a long time...breaks down the tough meat to a melting, tender texture. Enjoy!

          1. re: 9lives

            Sounds like you have a great recipe! Would you share it please?

            1. re: Ginger

              It's embarassingly easy..

              flour the veal shanks and sear in a pan.

              add veal or chicken stock to the just cover can add onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, whatever you like..a chunk of parmesan adds texture and flavor.

              cover the pan and cook in the oven at about 200 for maybe 2 1/2-3 hours...time is approximate..cause of variations in oven temp..amount of check for doneness..poke a toothpick in should slide in and out easily. It can also be done on the stove..again, very low heat.

              when the meat is done, remove from the pan. take most of the liquid out, leaving the veggies and enough for a sauce..raise the heat, add some flour to thicken..and pour it over the shanks..and or pasta or rice or potatoes. You can also "finish" the shanks under a broiler for a little crispier top. Freeze the rest of the stock and use it the next time you make veal or lamb shanks..


              1. re: 9lives

                Thanks! Will try it for sure.

                So many of the best recipes ARE dirt easy. My favorite roast chicken involves rubbing a chicken with olive oil, sea salt and crushed pepper, stuffing the cavity with tons of garlic cloves, and herbs (thyme, rosmary, sage--whatever I have), putting in a tightly lidded baking pan with some vegetables (e.g., carrots, chili peppers) and tons more garlic. Roast at 425 until done. Yum!

            2. re: 9lives

              And don't forget to enjoy the marrow! It's the whole point of the dish.

              I remember being at a restaurant in Florence seated next to a couple that had order the osso bucco, which came with a thin halo of meat around a generous circle of marrow. They seemed puzzled after eating the meat and commented on the seeming skimpy portion; they did not realize the marrow was meant to be eaten....

              1. re: Karl S.

                agreed about marrow..for the osso bucco neophytes, the marrow is in the center of the large bone..there are special marrow spoons; but any utensil can be used to push it through.

        2. re: paul

          Dewars. Very nice selection. Of course it's incredibly expensive. I had hoped that it would be cheaper if you go to the source. By way of example... a hanger steak is $7.99 per lb. - frozen or fresh. Granted it is hard to find hanger steaks in a grocery store in the Boston area but in the mid west, Phila, NYC and Paris it's a cheap (but delicious) cut of meat. They do have creme fraiche, a variety of gamebirds (frozen), and pates and goose/duck livers.

          1. re: paul

            I would agree 100 percent. I find that their prices are either equal to bread and circu' or a bit cheaper, the quality is always better, they are the nicest guys and will talk to you for as long as you can about the best helpful hints for any dish.

          2. First choice is Sulmona's Meat Market..32 Parmenter St..742 2791 in the North End..I made osso bucco from them a few weeks ago...

            Epicurean Meat Mkt...1704 Washington St..247 2117..South End

            Savenors Mkt..Charles St..Beacon Hill..expensive but good

            I would call make sure any of these places have it first..or give them a day's notice that you'd like some.

            1. There is a terrific butcher shop in the North End on Parmenter Street between Salem and Hanover (across from the library) called Sulmona. They have been the premier butchers there for a long time. You may pay dearly for your veal but you should not be disappointed. How about posting your recipe for osso buco sometime.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Northender

                I agree that they're the best..but I think their prices are very reasonable...FAR less than any of the other places mentioned..maybe $10 lb for cutlets..less for shanks; which have so much bone.