There is something about meat slow braised in a Dutch oven that immediately feels comforting. The anticipation of that first bite as herbs and vegetables perfume the air instantly draws people to the kitchen. The question of "Is it ready yet?" becoming more consistent as the juices cook down. This Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco will have your friends and family eagerly waiting for that lid to open and dinner to be served.
While the name might sound fancy, the heart of this dish is firmly rooted in all of the savory comfort of of an all day braised stew. Beef shanks, a splash of red wine, aromatics and vegetables give this slow cooked dish all of its depth.
The Ultimate Comfort Food
Osso buco, in Italian, translates to bone with a hole. Traditionally it is made with veal shanks, but it's common to see pork, or like this recipe, beef shanks. As the meat simmers down, it breaks down and becomes tender and the marrow in the center of the bone adds richness to the sauce.
Having a reliable Dutch oven, or braiser like this La Creuset, makes creating a dish like Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco easy and dependable. The enameled cast iron conducts heat evenly and consistently making it ideal for low and slow cooking. In addition it easily transfers from stove, to oven, to table.
Keys To Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco
While this dish may simmer away for a couple hours, the actual preparation couldn't be easier. I am going to take you step by step so you can have this elegant dish on the table.
First, you are going to want to make sure your braiser or Dutch oven is fully heated. We are going to brown the beef shanks and if the pan isn't fully heated you will steam them instead. You want to develop that beautiful crust.
When you brown your meat, followed by the vegetables, the bottom of your pan is going to accumulate brown bits known as the fond. You want to ensure this dissolves into the sauce as it's the key to flavor. Deglazing with wine helps with this process. Make sure you choose a wine you enjoy as the flavor will concentrate.
Both thyme and rosemary provide an aromatic depth to the sauce. I recommend using fresh. In addition, don't worry about chopping them. Simply add a couple of whole sprigs and then remove them once your dish is done.
You can let this simmer on the stove top for a couple of hours, or put it in your oven. The choice is completely up to you. 2 ½ hours is the recommended cooking time, but it's simply that. You're really looking for your meat to be succulent and tender.
Have fun with how you serve your Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco. I love serving this with polenta, but mashed potatoes and rice are both perfect options. You want something to drizzle the rich sauce over.
Are you looking for more dinner inspiration? Make sure you check out my recipe for Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Goat Gouda.
Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco
- Dutch oven or braiser
- 3 beef shanks
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- ½ cup All-Purpose flour
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups water or broth
- 2 cups canned crushed plum tomatoes
- sprig of fresh thyme
- sprig of rosemary
- 2-3 bay leaves
- fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- Season the beef shanks with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the shanks through flour, shaking off excess.
- Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat with oil. When fully heated add the beef shanks, careful not to crowd.
- Brown all sides of the beef, 3-4 minutes per side, allowing the meat to caramelize.
- Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and sauté on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the wine to deglaze, making sure to scrape up all of the brown bits left by the meat and vegetables. Allow wine to reduce by half.
- Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and continue to stir.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the beef shanks back to the pan, along with the drippings on the plate.
- Stir in the water or broth, and add fresh herbs and bay leaves.
- Cover with lid and simmer on low for 2 ½ hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce is reduced. This can also be cooked for the same amount of time in a 350 degree oven.
- Remove pot from the stove or oven.
- Discard the stems from the herbs and the bay leaves.
- Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top.
- Serve over polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Enjoy!