Indulge in the ultimate comfort of a slow-cooked dish!
There’s something about the tender meat of a braised veal shank in a Dutch oven or slow cooker that warms the heart. As the flavors meld and the wonderful aroma fill the air, it’s hard to resist gathering around the dinner table. Whether it’s a special occasion or a cozy family meal, this Beef Shank Osso Buco recipe is sure to impress.
To achieve fork-tender perfection, the key lies in the cross-cut beef shanks, which allow the bone marrow to infuse the braising liquid, creating a rich and flavorful sauce. Add in bay leaves, fresh parsley, garlic cloves, and a medley of fresh herbs for an aromatic experience that will make for a perfect dish whether you are staying in for th night or entertaining!
What does Osso buco mean?
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.
How should you cook beef shank?
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.
For those who prefer convenience, a crock pot or pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can work wonders. These appliances excel in achieving the ideal texture and taste, thanks to their high-pressure cooking capabilities. Whether you opt for a slow-cooked approach or the expedited results of pressure cooking, the result will be tender, fall-off-the-bone meat that melts in your mouth.
How to make 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.
Start by browning the beef shanks in a hot Dutch oven or pressure cooker using medium-high heat. This step helps develop a beautiful crust on the meat while sealing in the juices. Once the shanks are nicely browned, remove any excess fat and deglaze the bottom of the pot with a glass of red wine, ensuring that all the flavorful browned bits are incorporated into the sauce.
Now, it’s time to create the braising liquid. Add in beef broth, chicken broth, or even a combination of both to create a rich broth that will enhance the flavors of the dish. Toss in a couple of bay leaves and a handful of fresh thyme sprigs to infuse the liquid with aromatic goodness. Allow the shanks to simmer in the flavorful broth until they reach the desired fork-tender consistency.
As the osso buco slowly cooks, the connective tissues break down, transforming the meat into a tender delicacy. Once the shanks are ready, skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce and thicken it slightly by whisking in a little bit of flour. This step will give the sauce a tremendous texture, perfect for drizzling over the meat and accompanying side dishes.
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 1/2 hours is the recommended cooking time, but it’s simply that. You’re really looking for your meat to be succulent and tender.
Commonly asked questions
How to store beef shank
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The next day, the flavors will have combined even further, creating an better taste.
How do you serve beef shank osso buco?
For a classic presentation, serve the beef osso buco over creamy polenta, allowing the sauce to envelop each bite. Alternatively, risotto alla Milanese or a side of mashed potatoes would be equally delightful. Don’t forget to garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a touch of grated lemon zest to brighten the flavors.
Is osso bucco the same as beef shank?
Yes, osso buco and beef shank refer to the same cut of meat. Osso buco is an Italian dish traditionally made with cross-cut veal shanks, but it can also be prepared with beef shanks.
Beef shank refers to the meat taken from the leg of the cow and typically includes both the bone and the surrounding meat. It is a tough and flavorful cut that benefits from slow cooking methods like braising or stewing to become tender and develop rich flavors.
So, while osso buco is commonly associated with veal shanks, using beef shanks can be a delicious and more affordable alternative.
Decadent Beef Shank Osso Buco
- Dutch oven or braiser
- 3 beef shanks
- 1/4 cup neutral oil
- 1/2 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 1/2 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!