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Slow-Cooker Osso Buco

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 103

There are two tricks to this recipe: browning the veal shanks before they go into the slow cooker and reducing the sauce before serving. The result is an osso buco you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish from the labor-intensive classic (trust us).

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Four 1-1/2- to 2-inch-thick veal shanks (about 2-1/2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • One 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into
  • 1/4-inch-thick rounds (1/2 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

Put the flour in a wide, shallow dish. Season the veal shanks all over with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour; shake off the excess flour.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and when it foams, add the shanks to the skillet. Cook until golden, turning once, about 10 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker.

Add the wine to the skillet. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, onion, carrot, celery, and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours—the meat will be very tender and almost falling off the bone.

Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large skillet. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic to make a gremolata. Serve the veal shanks topped with the sauce and the gremolata.

Serving Suggestions

Make the entire meal a classic: Serve with Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto with Parmesan & Saffron).

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 460; Fat (g): fat g 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 46; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 15; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 710; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 205; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent. ..delicious and easy! Dont forget to dig out that yummy marrow while eating. Ingredients (save the obvious protein) are common things on hand so no need for too much planning ahead or budget breaking. As stated previously the reducing sauce portion a little unclear...I did not strain...husband says he would have (I'm very much a novice...he's a chef by trade) however I enjoyed the chunky veggies. So...I suppose it's up to the chef. Served with a pasta putenesca which was tasty and on hand but may choose another side next time...and there will be a next time.

Great recipe, the thickening of the sauce at the end was a perfect tip. The only suggestion I would make is to sautee the onions before adding them to the slow cooker. Otherwise, a delicious meal. Thank you for making our tummies happy!

Very easy, and delicious. I served this with saffron risotto and roasted Brussels sprouts...yum!!!!! I agree with the poster who said to tie the shanks. I didn't and wish I had. The gremolata was fabulous

This was AMAZING. Tasted just I remembered when visiting a great Restaurant in the City. My suggestion would be to tie up the Shanks with kitchen string because the tenderness of this crockpot method meat will fall off bone and the plate presentation won't be as wanted! The Gremolata that is placed ontop for garnish just makes the flavor thru and thru. That first bite was Totally ORGASMIC!! WOW!! 5 STAR Rating from me!! BTW I made Gremolata Potatoes to go with and the recipe is below.. ENJOY Gremolata Potatoes Serves 4 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), rinsed and dried Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 1. Whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil and the parsley, thyme, rosemary, zests, garlic and red pepper. Set aside for at least a half-hour. 2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut each potato into 6 to 8 wedges. Toss the potatoes with the gremolata, and add salt to taste. Spread the wedges out on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Pull out the sheet, flip the potatoes with a spatula, and then continue roasting them for another 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

I used the ingredient portion of the recipe but didn't use a slow cooker to prevent the shanks from falling apart. Instead I cooked the shanks and the sauce together in a Dutch oven, then removed the shanks when I thought they were nearly cooked and continued to deepen the flavor of the sauce ingredients. Toward the end I returned the shanks to the Dutch oven and kept everything warm in a slow (225 degree) oven. They were utterly delicious served over a Parmesan/Saffron Risotto - also on this website - and were loved by all my guests.

Great recipe! I usually don't follow any thing to a T, and didn't really measure each veggie, but since I cook a lot this was no big deal. I will say that when pouring "the sauce from the the slow cooker into a large skillet" the recipe doesn't really clarify for a novice home chef. I poured mine thru a strainer, then mashed the cooked vegs a bit to get every bit of juice out. This makes for a nice sauce to reduce. Served mine over polenta and YUM YUM YUM!!!! First time I made Osso Buco in a crock pot and will definitely do it again! As my sweetie said, "put this one in the repertoire!" Thanks for sharing a fantastic version of a classic!!

EXCELLENT broth, outstanding gremolata! However, all crockpots are different...cooked for 7.5 hours and had to turn to high before meat flaked off the bone. Also made three changes- ALL Italians cook with garlic so I added crushed garlic to the simmer as well as four whole clove, and three bay leaves. Additionally, I cored out half the marrow and replaced it with anchovie paste and set them paste side down when reducing the broth and served it with Orzo - PRIMO! Giovanni

This recipe was easy and delicious. We ate it with polenta. Only comment/complaint was that our veal shanks had a lot of bone in them, and we only got about 2 1/2 to 3 servings, not the four servings the recipe said. Would make it again. It certainly beats paying $20 plus for one serving in a restaurant!

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