Beef osso bucco with gremolada

Beef shanks earn ample thanks

Originally appeared in the April 14, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Osso bucco or ossobucco—meaning “bone with a hole”—is a cross-cut section of veal shin.  But if you’re a touch reluctant about using the aforestated variety of meat, no worries: for this recipe I’m using more mature beef.  Remaining article continued here:If you can’t find beef shanks at your local grocery (which are often available pre-processed), you might check out Archer’s Meat Packing on South Meridian in old town Greenwood.  But a sure bet is Claus’ German Sausage and Meats (1845 South Shelby Street).  The selection is impressive, and the gregarious staff of butchers always seems eager with guidance and suggestions.  (Although I have a quick caveat: take cash or check, no debit or credit.)

One of the distinct features of osso bucco is its traditional garnish—gremolada.  A hallmark accompaniment, gremolada (pronounced greh-moa-LAH-dah) is an aromatic mixture of parsley, sage, garlic, and lemon zest, which is sprinkled over top of the shanks just before service.  Paired with the rich disposition of the sauce, the gremolada adds a fresh fragrance of herbs and citrus.  And side dishes, you ask?  You can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes, risotto, or savory cannellini beans (pictured, and recipe follows below).  Buon appetito, dear reader.

Beef osso bucco with gremolada

Serves 2

  • 2, 2-inch thick beef shanks
  • As needed, all-purpose flour (for dredging and roux)
  • As needed, canola oil
  • ½ onion, rough chop
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup peeled, diced tomatoes with juice
  • 6 fluid ounces white wine
  • 10 fluid ounces beef stock
  • 10 fluid ounces chicken stock


  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon grated lemon zest

1.  Lightly dredge shanks by tossing with flour.  Over medium-high heat in a wide, high-sided saucepan or stock pot, add a small amount of oil (just to coat bottom).  Shake off excess flour and add shanks to pan, searing both sides until meat is a rich, mahogany color.  Remove, set aside.

2.  Add onion and sauté until soft; add tomato, coking briefly.  Add butter and small amount of flour to create a smooth paste.  Pour in wine and reduce by half.  Pour in both stocks and add meat back to pan.  Bring to adjust heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

3.  Meanwhile, make gremolada by combining parsley, sage, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl.  When shanks are fork tender, remove from pan.  Strain and return to heat.  If needed, adjust consistency and seasonings of sauce, and serve with shanks.

Cannellini beans with bacon and tomato

Serves 2 – 4

  • 1 – 2 slices bacon
  • ¼ white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ – ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1, 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, thin slice
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded, small dice
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1.  In a medium saucepan, cook bacon until crisp to render fat.  Remove bacon and reserve on paper towel.  Adjust heat (and fat, if needed—meaning, remove fat or add oil) and sauté onion until translucent.  Add garlic, cook until aromatic (don’t burn).  Add flour and mix into a paste.  Add stock, mixing thoroughly until liquid is thickened.  Add beans and lower heat (you don’t want to break the beans down, merely heat them through).  Add sage, tomato, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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