God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


With all due modesty, I make a killer ossobucco. Ken, who orders this in restaurants here and in Italy-including Milano, says nothing compares to Chef Jane’s. What can I say? Except to be honest and admit it comes from a cookbook.

Last April I promised son Jeff that I would make it for his birthday but somehow it never happened—probably because it first takes a bank withdrawal to buy the veal shanks.

Tomorrow is Ken’s birthday and the gift to my men is last April's promise--which I made today. As with so many stews, it is better when given time to sit and absorb flavors. Plus making the risotto is that much easier when the meat just needs to heat in the oven.



4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
6-8 pieces of veal shank, cut into 2 inch pieces and tied with string
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dry white wine


2 cups canned Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 frest parsley sprigs
2 cups broth-approximately (I used 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup beef broth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 tablespoon minced lemon rind
2 tablespoons chopped parsely
1 or 2 anchovy fillets, finely choppped (optional--I don't use them)

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Use a heavy broad casserole, 8-10 quart size, large enough to hold all the veal pieces flat-side down in one layer (or use 2 casseroles, but do not stack shank pieces on top of one another.) I use a large Cusinart cast iron dutch oven. Heat the butter over moderate heat. When it foams, add the pancetta, onion, carrot and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes, until carrot and celery begin to soften.
  3. Dredge veal shanks with flour, brushing off the excess. Heat the oil until it is ver hot in a large skillet over moderate-high heat and place the floured shanks in the pan. Turn the shanks until they are browned on all sides (I hate this process), then place them flat-side down in the casserole with the pancetta and vegetables.
  4. Skim all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Pour in the wine and boil for 2 – 3 minutes while scraping the sides and bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour the wine and the deglazing over the veal shanks in the casserole.
  5. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and parsley to the casserole with enough meat broth so that the liquid just covers the veal shanks. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn th heat to moderate. When the broth begins to simmer, cover the casserole and place it in the preheated oven. Cook for 2 – 3 hours. Baste every 30 minutes to keep the meat moist.
  6. Just before serving, make the gremolada: Combine the garlic, lemon rind, parsley and anchove.
  7. To serve, remove shanks from the casserole and place on individual plates. Cut the strings. Spoon some of the sauce over each piece of shank and top each serving with a sprinkling of gremolada. (don’t skip this.)
Serves 6

Notes: Each shank piece should be tied with string to prevent the meat from falling away form the bone. When the veal shanks have finished cooking, the sauce around them should be rich and thick. If it is thin and watery, remove the pieces of veal and place the uncovered casserole over moderate-high heat on the stove. Cook until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick or burn on the bottom.

It really is best to make this a day early as with most stew type recipes, it is better the second day after absorbing all the flavors. But…you can make it the same day.I serve this with Risotto alla Milanese if I am ambitious. If not, I use spaghetti. My family is split on which it prefers.


From Risotto by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe again - I've made it before and know that it is amazing!

Jerry said...

Hmmm - funny how every now and then typepad pops me in as 6p00d83451ef2569e2!

Jane said...

Jerry, where are you? I thought you were on your way to Greece. And..what do you mean again. I thought maybe my feeble mind was playing tricks on me but I can't find it in past posts.

Vicky said...

Mmmm, my mother used to make a killer ossobucco too. Thanks for bringing back the memory.

Melissa Keith said...

My mouth is watering! I think I'll need to make this soon. I wonder if I need a special occasion or maybe just because cool weather is kicking in. Sounds like a good enough excuse for some good, slow cooked food!

barb cabot said...

Thank you so much for the recipe. I was hoping to see it after reading FB . Perfect food for this season and Happy Birthday to Ken!

nancyhol said...

I have never made ossobucco before, but I must try your recipe after all of the raves from your family.

Yum - I could actually eat it right now!

Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful,Jane. Will definitely try this now that it is cooling off here.

jmisgro said...

I have never had that! But it sound and looks delicious!
Buon compleanno Ken!

Maria I. said...

Yum! I love ossobucco! I'll give this recipe a try now that the weather is finally cooling off.

Buon compleanno to Ken!

Jane said...

Well, it was a success!! The men ate to capacity and more. The pieces were so meaty that there was some left for tonight. BTW--when you buy the veal shank pieces, make sure that there isn't a big bone in them which sometimes happens if you are not particular.

Hope this works well for all of you.

Jerry said...

Sorry to confuse you Jane - you PM' your awamazing recipe to me once on ST.

We're in Athens . . . taking it nice and slow!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for the recipe. I bit the bullet and bought veal shanks over the weekend. This recipe is fantastic!! My husband & I really enjoyed it very much and he Loves Osso Bucco.

Jane said...

Anonymous..I am so glad you liked the recipe and.......I'd love to know which one of my vast array of friends you are.

Debra said...

Oh boy does this sound good! I think I need to get myself to the local butcher and take this recipe on.
Thanks for posting it.