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I want to make Osso Bucco for New Year's Eve

I've read a zillion recipes but can't decide on one. Any advice?
I'm determined to impress the gang.

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  1. I made Osso Bucco for the holidays and used the recipe from Marcella Hazan's Essentials cook book. It was delicious. One tip - I tied the pcs of meat with string, but didn't do it tight enough, and they were starting to fall apart. But it tasted so good it didn't make a difference. I didn't want to make risotto, so I served it with a white bean puree instead and it was fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JennyHunter

      Ive made Marcella's recipe before, from her original book but have never bothered to tie it - its just too fussy for me. if the pieces of meat are closely enough placed in the pan tying wouldnt add much anyway. Its a very fine, reliable recipe. Doesnt need the risotto accompaniment - almost any bland starch would be a fine foil.

    2. Sides: Garlic mashed potatoes, risotto, polenta, farina, cous-cous.

      1. Jackie, First of all, cook it longer than you planned on. Then, during the last 30 minutes, continue to add freshly grated Parmisian Reggiano (grated about a quarter cup every 10 minutes). Five minutes before serving, add 1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsely. Serve with Penne Pasta and the thickened sauce. Toast your baguette and have a Caeser salad at the ready. Be prepared to be humble from all the accolades. Finally, after every one leaves, dial up the Food Network and make fun of Rachel Ray by bitch-slapping your tuner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Leper

          I'm laughing out loud at the last part!
          Thank you, Leper!

        2. Great choice for an occasion dish. Whatever recipe you use, make it at least one day in advance (this might replace the instruction to cook it longer than intended in the previous post). Helps the flavours develop.


          1. I made osso nucco last Christmas, here where I live, had to special order the veal shanks. I've tried it with beef shanks and the end product is just not the same, the taste is too heavy. I always tied mine, so I don't know would happen if I did not, but always, always this dish turns out so very good. Lemon zest is crucial to brighten the dish, and I made a light lemon risotto to sop up the sauce. I found that if you don't keep a close eye, you could loose some of the sauce, so check it often. I add the romano at the end when serving....
            I am salivating, I love Osso Bucco. oooo oooo
            I've also used a nice thin pasta with garlic olive oil and fresh pasrley for the side which turned out wonderfully too. mmmmmmmm.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chef chicklet

              I (almost) always use lamb shanks. They are much easier to find than veal shanks in my area. When we finally got a Whole Foods and I made it with veal, I discovered I like the lamb better....as long as it's good lamb. I used Icelandic lamb (highly praised by the WF people) most recently, and thought it tasted a little muttony.

              Ask your butcher to cut the shanks in half for you.

              1. re: danna

                In order to please both my husband (lamb fan) and myself (marrow fan), I most often to a hybrid: one half lamb shank (I guess that turns out to be a quarter leg?) and at least one veal shank. The flavor of the lamb is much more robust but the veal shank makes the sauce rich in a way that just lamb shank can't, plus you get that delectable marrrow. You can also use oxtail if you don't like veal shanks.

                Ditto to the gremolata - the dish is not finished without it!

            2. Thanks for the tips. I'm heading off to the butcher now and I guess to the hardware store to get some string... and thanks Pepper- it never occurred to me to make this in advance which makes sense on so many levels. I can be heating it while I'm showing off on the stovetop with my risottto. Happy New Year guys.

              1. I've made this one of Mario's & been very pleased- easy too!

                1. the gremolata is essential at the end. lemon zest, garlic, and parsley, finely chopped. capers optional.

                  1. Wow what a fantastic dish. I followed Mario Batali but wasn't totally convinced by the gremolata. (The jury is still out on the pine nuts.) The biggest saving factor was tying these babies up with string. If it weren't for that, the presentation would have looked like dog food. I don't know how I would have saved it!

                    1. A bit late I know, but one method I've used with great success is cooking the osso bucco in the oven rather than the stove top. Put the pot in a cold oven and then set it low--200 F should do it--and forget all about it. Then when you take the pot out of the oven, let the meat cool in the pot before removing it--this will help it absorb the braising liquid. I used to do it all on the stove before coming across the braising section in "On Food and Cooking." I can now say, without immodesty, that my osso bucco is better than any restaurant's.

                      1. I know this is late also but, Tony Bourdain's version of Osso Bucco Kicks ass! I think I really prefer the Orange Germeolta versus the Lemom one. You can find it on Epicouris, I know the spellings wrong! I agree with above poster, Put it in the oven to Braise! Much more even cooking.

                        If your a marrow fan, make sure you get BIG BONES or Small
                        Bones with LOTS OF Marroww...Heaven!!!!

                        I salivate over that good-dam marroww!

                        1. I am such an Osso Buco fan that I purchased an antique marrow spoon at auction. I am trying to build a collection of these handy items, but they are difficult to find and usually expensive. The one I did get turned out to be very valuable, so I don't really use it. However, there are modern ones and they really add to the presentation of the dish. I have used Marcella's recipes from the original book, both are delicious. I think pine nuts are a very unneeded addition, IMHO. Sorry, Mario.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: faijay

                            wow, a marrow spoon! I've never heard of that but after I read your post, I started googling. The antique ones are very beautiful and you're right - EXPENSIVE. I haven't been aware of the marrow craze until now. And yes, I think I'm going to forget the pine nuts next time...