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Tasty Substitute for Osso Bucco in Stock Recipe?

animatrixie Dec 4, 2013 02:34 PM

I'm getting ready to gather my ingredients for a bistro style Japanese curry recipe, and noticed it uses 2 kilos of osso bucco. The more I thought about it, the more I got the feeling that this seemed pretty pricy (it is where I live, at least) for beef that was meant strictly to make the stock! Would you recommend an alternative cut of beef that might be similar…maybe even more tasty for it?

Chicken bones, carrot, onion, and several curry spices are also required for a 6 hour simmer that should reduce it from 6 liters to 3.

For the body of the recipe, 2.5 kilos of round roast stewing beef is required later on. Would using the osso bucco lend any special flavor to the stock that would make it worth spending the money on?

Just wondering if it's going to be that damaging if I substitute a more easily available cut of beef for the stock. Just as a note - I did try substituting ox tail one year when I first attempted this recipe and it left the whole thing with a strange flavor I didn't really like. I'd love some advice from you expert beef stewers out there! :)

  1. Caroline1 Dec 5, 2013 12:55 AM

    I *STRONGLY* suspect we have a case of "comedy of translation" going on here! While "osso buco" is certainly the common American name for a specific Italian dish that was originally made with cross-cuts of veal shanks, in Italian it is correctly spelled ossobuco (all one word) which simply means "round bone," aka "marrow bone."

    Since the end of World War Two, Japanese culture has absorbed so much that is non-traditional Japanese, its mind boggling! Your recipe is calling for a stock, and you should NOT invest in cuts of veal shank but just ordinary "soup bones" that are made up of heavy cartilage covered ball joint bones cut in half to expose more surface by the butcher, and the bones left over after the butcher debones specific cuts of meat for steaks or roasts. These bones may or may not have some meat left on them, so your recipe is simply calling for a little additional meat to ensure a flavorful stock.

    I have no idea how they do things in Japan today, but ask your butcher for 2 kilos of soup bones, which should be pretty cheap, and if the bones don't have much meat left on them, then simply add a bit of the stewing beef called for in your recipe later on. Good luck!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1
      animatrixie Dec 6, 2013 04:58 AM

      Caroline, I believe you're exactly right! :D
      There are all kinds of English loan words that got imported into Japanese at some point or other, but the meanings have gotten so far from the original, it can be hard to figure out what they mean! :) I wasn't familiar with the dish "osso buco" to start with, so just took what I saw on the sites selling it at face value. Like so many other things, ring slices of shank bone (it still only calls them beef. Doesn't specify veal that I've yet seen) aren't commonly eaten here, so they might have just tacked the name of the dish on to it for convenient identifying purposes in Japanese!

      After getting suggestions from you all here, I've decided that's what I'll do! I'll go ahead and pick up the bones at the market, and for flavor, do you think beef tendon would be good, like PaulJ mentioned above? There's a TON of that stuff around, it's cheap, and apparently makes a great soup, so I wonder if that'll be the meaty boost the stock will need.

      1. re: animatrixie
        Caroline1 Dec 6, 2013 05:30 AM

        Hey, at least your recipe isn't calling for Kobe beef bones for the stock. Here's to a fantastic curry! '-)

        1. re: animatrixie
          hotoynoodle Dec 6, 2013 06:16 AM

          i think tendon will do just fine. sufficiently neutral and will add tons of texture.

      2. paulj Dec 4, 2013 11:49 PM

        Beef shank isn't that expensive. At 99Ranch, a large California/Chinese chain, cross slices (roughly osso bucco, but more mature) sell for around $3.60. They also sell boneless 'banana shank' for a bit more. At HMart (a New Jersey/Korean chain) I've seen shank scraps (the tendon ends) for less.

        I can also get get marrow bones (little meat) for $1/lb from a nearby butcher.

        4 Replies
        1. re: paulj
          animatrixie Dec 6, 2013 05:02 AM

          Ahh, to be back in the States and have access to any kind of meat I need! :)

          Well, I've at least got the bones covered, but in your opinion for a little extra meat for flavor, do you think a little bit of the beef tendon (we definitely have that here for cheap, all over the place!) would do the trick? I noticed the other day that there is such thing as Beef Tendon Curry, so I'm wondering if that might be just the thing.

          1. re: animatrixie
            paulj Dec 6, 2013 09:07 AM

            99Ranch sells beef tendon right next to the shank, beef bones, cow foot. At the other end of the cooler are all the pork cuts that can go into stocks - hocks, skin, ears, feet (long and short cuts, front and rear).

            1. re: paulj
              hotoynoodle Dec 6, 2013 12:55 PM

              op is not in the states.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                paulj Dec 6, 2013 02:34 PM

                I realize that. But I was listing cuts aimed at an Asian, especially Chinese, clientele.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgzHVW...
                beef tendon curry (cooking with dog)

        2. chefj Dec 4, 2013 06:52 PM

          This site may translate the American names to Japanese for you www.americanmeat.jp/trd/database/rank...

          Other options for good stewing(long wet cooking) meat
          Chuck / Chuck Shoulder / Chuck Roast / Chuck-Eye Roast / Top Chuck / Rump Roast / Clod / Shank

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefj
            animatrixie Dec 6, 2013 05:05 AM

            Really strange that I could access that link from my phone, but now that I"m trying to look at it on my computer, the site is saying it can't be found. I was able to find a similar kind of visual chart, showing the difference between US and Japanese cuts, at least, so I'm good for that now.

            Thanks for the stewing beef suggestions! I love the texture of chuck after it's been slow cooking, and I think it'll make a great addition - thank you!

          2. hotoynoodle Dec 4, 2013 03:52 PM

            veal bones make for a neutral stock. see if you can get veal soup bones from your butcher, or just use more chicken bones. the osso bucco bones do have marrow, so if you want to toss in some feet for gelatin go right ahead.

            but yeah, jiminy, you don't make stock out of osso bucco, lol. what recipe is this?

            1 Reply
            1. re: hotoynoodle
              animatrixie Dec 4, 2013 05:47 PM

              Thanks so much, I might try adding some more chicken bones, and I'll just have to take another look at the beef bones they've got at a new place nearby where I live (first time I've ever seen just beef bones for sale!). They don't have much meat on them, but my recipe indicated that they should, so that was a bit confusing for me.

              The recipe is out of a from-scratch curry book, and is supposedly a pro recipe out of some fancy bistro in Tokyo. The packaged Japanese curries are so loaded with sodium here, I've always wanted to try my hand at a home made recipe, so I can make it fresh and control what goes into it.

              Thank you so much for your input! I'll steer clear of the osso bucco unless I plan to actually do something that won't waste it! Other recipes I've seen for it look wonderful! :)

            2. monavano Dec 4, 2013 03:47 PM

              Do NOT spend $$ on "osso buco", which as stated above, is veal shank. Where I live, it's very pricey.
              See if you can get soup bones from a butcher.

              1 Reply
              1. re: monavano
                animatrixie Dec 4, 2013 05:39 PM

                Thanks so much! I didn't realize they were veal, since the characters written for that particular ingredient equaled "beef shank bone" and the recipe indicated that some meat should be on it, too. I've never seen beef bones (that weren't attached to kalbi, and even that's rare!) in any store until a new market opened up down the street, so I couldn't figure out what kind of beef cut the recipe might have required. There are no photos of what the meat looks like, unfortunately. When I did an online search, slices of packaged raw meat with the shank bone the shops called "osso bucco" is what turned up.

                If I could find a particularly meaty soup bone somewhere, I bet that would be great, but it sounds like going for the osso bucco would be a bit overboard.

                I so wish the butchers would budge and give me what I ask for, but…they're not very flexible that way, where I live. I'll be lucky to take what has turned up at the new market! :)

                Thanks again!

              2. C. Hamster Dec 4, 2013 03:35 PM

                Osso Bucco is a dish, not a cut of meat.

                And it isn't made from beef. It's made from veal shanks.

                Veal shanks aren't that spendy here.

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