Mom’s Osso Buco

Osso Buco della Mamma

Ossobuco 1

Finalmente! It was almost one year ago when I prepared osso buco for Zia and promised you that I would soon post the recipe. Well, that was the plan.

As I mentioned last week, Mom didn’t leave us a cookbook but we do have a couple of notebooks in which her recipes can be found, in varying states of completion. The osso buco I prepared for Zia was based on a recipe that I found which was little more than a few notes. We enjoyed the dinner and, when I got home, I set about writing the recipe. That’s when I found it, Mom’s full recipe. She had written notes in one book and the full recipe in another. I had taken one version with me to Michigan and referred to the other when I began writing the recipe. The post was put on hold until I could prepare Mom’s actual recipe. The Visitation would prove the perfect opportunity to both prepare Mom’s recipe and celebrate Zia’s return to Chicago.

I’m fully aware that some may object to eating veal, for a variety of reasons. I myself cringe when, while traveling through Michigan, I see the tiny enclosures used to raise calves for veal. Today there are alternatives. A quick check with Google will provide you with the names of local farms that raise veal humanely and the stores that carry their product. Be forewarned, however, that your peace of mind won’t come cheaply. A much less expensive alternative is to substitute beef shanks for the veal. In fact, that’s what I did when I tested both versions of Mom’s recipe, and, what I do when I’ve a taste for osso buco but don’t wish to take out a loan to satisfy it.

There are few differences between Mom’s original recipe and what I’ve prepared here, and those involve my use of a slow cooker. Braising shanks in an oven requires more liquid than doing so in a slow cooker. The recipe reflects this. Additionally, as you’ll soon see, Mom cooked 4 shanks at a time. I only cooked 2, though I kept most ingredient amounts the same. This meant that I had quite a bit of extra sauce left over. See below to learn how we used that sauce.

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Ossobuco 1

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Osso Buco Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 veal shanks (See Notes)
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (See Notes)
  •  1/2 cup veal stock – chicken may be substituted
  • 1 large can (28 oz, 794 g) whole tomatoes, torn/crushed by hand

for the Gremolata

  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped — anchovy paste may be substituted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Season the shanks with salt & pepper on both sides. Begin to heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Place about 1/3 cup of flour into a plastic bag, followed by 2 of the shanks. Carefully shake to coat the shanks with flour. Place the shanks in the now hot oil and repeat with the remaining 2 flanks.
  3. Cook the shanks until both sides are well-browned, – about 7 or 8 minutes total. Remove and reserve.
  4. Meanwhile, add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
  5. Use the white wine to deglaze the frying pan and pour the liquid into the slow cooker when finished.
  6. Add the shanks to the slow cooker. Be sure to include any of the juices that may have collected on the plate.
  7. Add enough stock so that the sauce comes halfway up the sides of the shanks.
  8. Set the slow cooker to  “LOW” and cook for 8 hours. To speed up the cooking time, for every hour cooked on “HIGH” reduce the cooking time by 2 hours.
  9. About every hour, baste the top of the shanks to keep them moist. (See Notes)
  10. Make the gremolata towards the end of the cooking process:
    • In a small bowl, combine the anchovies, garlic, parsley, and zest. Stir until fully combined.
  11. Carefully remove the shanks and serve immediately with sauce and garnished with a sprinkling of gremolata.

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Ossobuco 3

Osso buco served with polenta and broccolini 

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Notes

I’ve slightly adjusted Mom’s recipe to reflect braising these shanks in a slow cooker and not the oven. If using the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F  (175˚ C).
  • Increase the amount of liquids use 2/3 cups dry white wine and 3/4 cups stock.
  • Cook for 1½ to 2 hours.  Meat should be fork tender and just about falling off the bone. Let it go too long and it will fall of the bone, ruining your presentation.

Although you can get shanks as thin as an inch, 2 inch thick shanks were used here. Cooking times may vary if you use shanks that vary in thickness.

Ask your butcher to tie the shanks to prevent them from falling apart during the braise. Be sure to remove the string before serving.

Attempting to turn the shanks over while braising is very problematic. They may, in fact, fall apart during the process. Best to leave them as-is and baste them periodically throughout the braise. If braising in the oven, baste the shanks every 30 minutes or so, If using a slow-cooker, baste every hour or so. Remember, the fewer times you uncover a slow cooker, the better.

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It’s that time again

Winter is fast approaching and I’m going to sneak in one last visit with Zia before it gets here. The Kitchens will be closed while I’m gone.

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About that extra sauce

Tagliatelle in Sauce

After our dinner, the leftover sauce was split in half. Zia’s portion went into the freezer and went home with her. My portion was later used to dress the homemade tagliatelle pictured above.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Stovetop Root Vegetables

Last weekend saw this area’s farmers markets close for the year, reflecting the fact that very little, if anything, will be grown here for the next 6 months. This doesn’t mean, however, that all locally grown produce has disappeared and no longer available. Because of their relatively long shelf-life, our markets will still carry apples, squash and a variety of root vegetables for weeks, even months, to come. Today’s look back features a stove top method for braising root vegetables, a recipe that will make an attractive side dish for any of the feasts you may prepare this holiday season. You can learn all about it by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Honey Mustard Preview

  Honey Mustard

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133 thoughts on “Mom’s Osso Buco

  1. Love the idea of using shanks John. How special to have your mom’s written notes. Very special. I am enjoying special time with my mom this week while she visits. Its just us girls as Pete is away and dad is at home.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John, thanks for sharing yet another family treasure with us. (By the way, celery seems to be missing from the list of ingredients.)
    This is mostly how I make osso buco, except that I’m now cooking it sous-vide and I cut the trinity more finely. The main difference is that I need to cut the skin around the shank, which contracts during cooking and would otherwise ruin the shape.
    I had to chuckle at treating calves ‘humanely’ (which in my mind is not necessarily a good description of how to treat animals properly).
    Our beef shanks are too tough to prepare this way, but I am aware that American steers used for beef are younger than our beef cattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Stefan. You must be on your way to work. I’m on my way to bed. Thanks for the celery heads-up. Truth be told, I also missed the carrot. Proof-reading was never my strong suit.
      Yes, I thought that you would prepare your osso buco a la sous-vide. Yes, too, the use of humane with regard to anything in our food processing system is a bit of an oxymoron. Even so, I really do hate to see the little veal enclosures that so many of the dairy farms use. They seem unusually harsh and there’s really no need.
      Have a great day, Stefan.

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  3. Absolutely stunning – this is such a fabulously flavour filled dish and the house is filled with wonderful aromas as it slow cooks. Perfect for the cold weather we have here now and how wonderful that you found Mamma’s original recipe 🙂 Enjoy your visit with Zia, give her a big hug from us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank yo so much, Tanya. Yes, the house does fill with a wonderful aroma but that’s both blessing and curse. We agree the aroma is wonderful but, if I’m here for the full 8 hours, around hour no. 5, I just want to eat and enough with the waiting. By hour no. 6, I’m wondering what possessed me to put it in the slow cooker instead of the oven. By hour no. 7, I’ve started to raid the fridge and, by the 8th hour, I’ve already eaten my salad and whatever bread I was going to eat with dinner. I admit it: I’m not one for self-discipline, 🙂
      I’ll be sure to send your regards to Zia Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John – I made osso buco today and the pasta and sauce for tomorrow were planned hours ago! What a very, very small world!!!!! Osso buco has been one of ‘my dishes’ since my early twenties: I love it and make it at least 8-10 times a year . . . use the oven method with a slightly lower temp and about 1/2 hour extra cooking. I did add a sprig of rosemary which would not be Italianate and a couple of homegrown bay leaves. Same otherwise except I used a light beef stock . . . Now pure milk veal is almost impossible to get where I live and I do not mind. What I am sold as osso buco I believe is what we call ‘yearling beef’, ie from a cow killed at one year + in age. Looks exactly the same as your photo. Oh, I DO love that dish !!!! Have a wonderful time with your Zia . . . take care!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed a small world, Eha. I, too, love this dish, though it’s a bit out of my price range to have it as frequently as you do. Still, using beef shanks does bring it down into a more affordable price range. I would guess that your yearling beef is probably very similar to our “humanely grown” veal. I’d have to do more research about it. I do agree that a bit of rosemary and a bay leaf or two would be nice here and even considered adding rosemary to the recipe. In the end, though, I stayed true to Mom’s notes. Now that her recipe is documented, I’m free to add whatever I like. 🙂
      Have a great couple of weeks, Eha. See you when I get back!

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      • Just before going off: perhaps our meat is of a lesser quality John, but I also had two large pieces like you – have just looked in the bin for the wrapper and it says $8.90 on the label – which for two meals + the pasta sauce I don’t think is all that expensive – have to compare notes when you get back!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, Eha. These were a little more than twice that amount. Now, don’t think I buy them often. I did ir for Zia and the last time I bought them, 1 year ago, was also for Zia. Don’t tell her but, if she comes back here in May, I’ll be buying them again. To that I add, that if I make it to 94 year of age, my friends better be buying me veal shanks, too.

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    • You are so right, Maria. The shank of any animal is a tough piece of meat. (They all used to be a cheap cut, too, but then the TV chefs “discovered” them and the prices went up, way up.) Low and slow is the best way to cook them all. The result is a succulent bit of deliciousness and so well worth the wait. 🙂

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  5. Just once a year I buy veal. (crate raising is banned in Australia, though it’s still contentious as the male calves are considered a by product of the dairy industry) just to make osso bucco. I adore the soft sticky meat and also use the leftover sauce to dress pasta. Soft polenta is obligatory! I have never used anchovies in gremolata, I’ll try that next time. Have a wonderful visit to Zia

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    • Male calves are a by product of the dairy industry. Cows have to produce calves in order to make milk. They have more or less half girls and boys. The girls become milk cows but the male offspring are not good beef cattle. Unless these male calves are going to be reared for veal, they get shot within a day or two, as a waste product.
      They should all be raised as veal if we drink milk and they should all be raised in good conditions – not crates or tiny enclosures. Normally veal calves are slaughtered at 6 -7 months, which is older than most chicken, lamb or pork.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Unfortunately, our veal is still raised primarily in those nasty little pens. The only way it will change is when informed consumers demand it. Good to see I’m not alone in using the extra sauce with pasta. How could we not? Anything less would be a crime. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am sure you would be able to cook just about anything your Mom could because you have the cooking gene. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have all the markets close down for six months. I just dont really think about the fact that our weather is very even most of the year.

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    • I don’t know about the gene, Tania, but I can follow a recipe even when only a few notes. It’s a great way to keep Mom around, pulling out one of her notebooks and seeing if I can pull it off. I know she’s watching. 🙂

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    • Good to see you again, Marie. We do speak of you. You’re Grandmother to the “blueberry picker”. That is still one of my favorite photos on WP. Hope you’re all well and getting ready for Santa’s arrival. 🙂

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  7. Excellent and your recipe is quite close to mine – I use a little mustard powder in the flour and red wine instead of white. I like beef osso buco, I think it has a little more flavour, but I’m quite happy with rose veal or pork osso buco too. I particularly enjoy the bone marrow 😉

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    • I’ve not tried pork osso buco but am more than willing to try. I just have to find the shanks — but I will. I read your earlier comment and the read the article you linked us to. Sure hope I don’t come back as a male calf on a dairy farm. 🙂

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      • I agree, but if all we ate more rose veal (the good welfare meat), dairy farms would be more inclined to treat the males with respect and things would get better. Things have improved in the UK in the last 10 years – it used to be that there was no market for veal, so all the males were shot. Now there are a lot of farmers raising male calves in good conditions and people are starting to buy the meat 🙂

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  8. Oh, John, this is SUCH a classic! I think it may very well be my favorite dish ever…

    I made veal ossobuco a few times, but the best was when I made it in our tiny kitchen in Paris back in 2002. I got FANTASTIC veal from the butcher near our home, and spent the Saturday preparing it, then we enjoyed it on Sunday. Memories…, sweet sweet memories

    I hope you will have a wonderful time, and shall miss you while you are gone…. (sniff, sniff)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is one heck of a memory, Sally! That’s one I’d call to mind regularly to savor again and again. I don’t know if this dish, alone, could ever compete with that. 🙂 Even so, osso buco is one fantastic dish, perfect for the weather that’s closing in on us.
      Not to worry. I’ll be back before you know I’m gone. 🙂

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  9. MUST make that mustard soon as I have run out. This is a perfect dish to cook in my big cast iron pot on the wood stove.. Most excellent. Your mother was a very generous coook to write down her recipes, even the notes. I have old recipe books and they are ful of recipes given to my mum or grandmother by their friends.. very seldom do they write their own down, it all lived in their heads.. Wonderful.. much love to Our Zia. I hope the winter treats her kindly.. c

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we have no hand-written recipes from our Grandmothers. Even though Mom and Zia wrote down more than a few, I’m the first to attempt to gather and write them all down. As I’ve mentioned to you, the next step is to organized them into book form for my family. That will be a job, for most of the recipes need to be rewritten and the family stories assembled and placed in some sort of coherent order. That will be the tricky part.
      Zia is all ready for Winter. Her son came up and got her place winterized. Her youngest will come get her for Thanksgiving and her birthday. Her other son will come to pick her up in January and take her to his home in Virginia, where she’ll escape the worst of Winter. I hope she stays with him until March, like she did last Winter. Not long after that, I’ll go pick her up again for another Visitation. That’s 2 in less than a year. I can’t believe it!
      I’ll give her your love and you know you’ve got hers. When I return, we have to plan a ravioli day. Take care ..

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  10. This looks so very tasty John! – falling off the bones… My version uses red wine and orange, both in the sauce and the gremolata. Never heard of anchovies in the gremolata – what an interesting idea!
    I do share your quest for more humanly raised veal, even at a higher price. It’s worth it on all levels. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ronit. I have used orange zest with beef and I love it! Here I tried to duplicate Mom’s recipe as best as I could but the idea of a gremolata with orange zest sounds very good. I need to give that a try. 🙂

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  11. This recipe you’ve shared, John (one year in the making), is certainly worth the wait! Delicious!! How wonderful that you ended up finding the complete recipe. Believing that there are no coincidences in life, I’m sure your mom… some how, some way, led you to the “right” book. 🙂 I bet the sauce was superior topping off that homemade tagliatelle!
    Safe travels as you return to visit Zia…and bring your warmest coat! Winter has arrived. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Nancy. There are times when I following one of Mom’s recipes, I can feel her in the kitchen with me. This recipe was one of those times. It makes the dish even more special for me.
      Yeah, I know the cold has arrived. It hit us here yesterday. I’ll be fine so long as the snow holds off until I unpack the car at Zia’s. Is that too much to ask? 🙂

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  12. Two inch thick shanks are the only way to go! Great recipe — I’ve made a similar version of this several times, but it’s been a good half-decade at least since I’ve last done it. I think next time I’ll use beef shanks — I really like that idea. Veal just doesn’t seem as good as it used to, not even the expensive boutique stuff (that’s raised properly) that I sometimes buy. Which makes me wonder how this dish would work with pork shanks?! Fun idea to play with. Anyway, great recipe, and I love how you used the leftover sauce. Have a wonderful time in Michigan!

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    • Having made the mistake of buying thin shanks, I agree, John. 2 inch thick slices are the best! Others have mentioned using pork shanks, too. You all have me thinking that I need to find/order some to learn what I’ve been missing. I bet they’d be wonderful.
      I’ve got a couple special dishes in mind for Zia, so, I think we’ll have fun together. Thanks, John, and have a good couple of weeks.

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  13. Hi John,
    I was so excited to see your post this morning for your Mom’s Osso Buco!! It looks wonderful and I bet tastes even better!! Add the side of polenta it doesn’t get more delicious than that. Family hand written recipes are such a treasure!! Also thanks for giving the directions for the oven as well as the slow cooker, I can braise anything in the oven but for some reason my slow cooker and I DO NOT get along.
    Thanks for another awesome post!!

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    • Thank you, Mel, though I’m sorry to be so late in replying.
      I’m glad that you like these family recipes. It would make Mom very happy to see her dishes so well-received. I know it pleases her sister, my Zia. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh how cool to have notebooks with recipes from your mom. I also am glad you discuss humanely raised veal. What a beautiful recipe I love that the gremolata has anchovy. This is perfect for the season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Amanda. This is braising season and Mom’s recipe is one of the best. I, too, was a bit surprised to see anchovies in her gremolata but, I have to say, it’s really quite good. I won’t make another gremolata without them. Have a great week!

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  15. What a wonderful recipe your Mother left behind. I think I will have to try give it a try now that slow cooker season has returned once again. Winter has teased us a bit with a few flakes and then turning warm and gray again the next day. I am looking forward to your mustard post…Looks perfect for the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the season for braising and slow cookers make it such an easy process, don’t they? Our temps have really fallen in the past 24 hours and will hover around the freezing point for much of the next 2 weeks. My mind says it’s too early for this!
      The mustard is one of the things I put in my CHristmas gift baskets. It’s always been very well received. I use it on everything. 🙂

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    • I’ve often used beef shanks. They’re far cheaper and, though not the same, it’s still a great dish. Others have suggested using pork shanks. I’ve not tried that but I’m going to be looking for them. 🙂

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  16. This really looks so comforting good! I try not to think about the animal part…if I did, I’d probably turn vegetarian 🙂 Though my mother always told the story about lamb at Easter dinner when she was a little girl and cried when she couldn’t find her pet lamb!
    I love the idea of using the crock pot and will definitely try this out. Extra sauce is a plus in my book and I love that you used it with pasta.

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    • I’m with you, Linda, and try to select animals that have been treated as humanely as possible. Our money will give the cattle ranchers, poultry farmers, and shepherds the incentive to treat their animals better.
      This could not be any easier than by sticking the shanks in a slow cooker. Now that our weather has changed, however, my slow cooker is heading for a shelf and the Dutch oven is making a comeback. No better way to warm a kitchen then with something braising in the oven. 🙂

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  17. Thanks for this wonderful recipe, John. My husband loves Osso Buco, and I’ve been having so much fun in the kitchen over the last couple of months, that I plan on getting out the slow cooker and making this a surprise dinner this weekend!
    Have fun on your visit, and my regards to Zia.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for sharing your Mom’s recipe, a family treasure indeed. Will be making but substituting beef shanks for the veal and using the oven as I do not own a slow cooker. May also try using pork shank as a local market now carries very nice pork shanks.
    Safe and pleasant trip and Happy Thanksgiving to you and Zia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Norma. I will be interested to hear how the pork shanks turn out. Others have mentioned them and now I feel I have to find some to see for myself. I hope you and your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

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  19. The thing about veal is we’re damned if we do or don’t, the calves are slaughtered anyway, so your suggestion to seek out best practice product is a sound one. That said, I make Osso Buco with beef because that’s what I can get, it’s the flavors and textures that make it a wonderful cold weather meal. One of the benefits is that unlike beef cheeks or lamb shanks the cut hasn’t become trendy and priced it off the regular person’s dining table.

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    • Ella – if you look at John answering me up top: their osso buco is twice the price of ours!!! Now for Australians an interesting alternative seems to be kangaroo tail – have a look at http://www.something wild.com.au for on line purchases. They are amongst the top 10 butchers in Australia and have camel, emu, buffalo, wild boar, crocodile etc as well: some not very expensive. Plan for a big parcel for Christmas. Smoked crocodile on sandwiches seem a little different 🙂 !

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      • Actually, Eha, I quoted you the wrong price. Those that I bought were $!7.00 a lb. As for the exotic meats, there’s a new grocery in the area that has ground venison & boar, ostrich, alligator, python, pheasant, camel, & buffalo. I haven’t bought much from that display case … yet 😉

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        • No python on my lists 🙂 ! But they do show ‘kangaroo osso buco’ and it looks nice on the photo 😉 !!! I like the idea of those because of the leanness of the meats and knowing they have been grown free range . . . my apologies from having deviated from your wonderful family recipe!!

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      • I can say I wouldn’t try it… of that list I’ve eaten farmed buffalo and crocodile… plus rabbit, goat, venison… I can’t say I’d bother again with the croc… it’s just a carrier for whatever flavour accompaniment. But our Christmas guests I think prefer our usual pasture raised ham and chickens.

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    • Yeah, those veal calves are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I really don’t buy much anymore. And I very rarely by the shanks, only for extra special occasions. Like you, EllaDee, I go with beef — and it’s delicious. I hate to be watching a cooking show, like Iron Chef or Master Chef and see them use a not too well known cut of meat. You can pretty much count on the prices doubling in the following year. It’s almost enough to make me go vegetarian — almost. 😉

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        • Actually I was looking for goat [no halal butchers here!] for John’s recipe when I came upon this particular SA firm 🙂 !!! It’s already more expensive at that particular firm!!

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          • I buy it from the butchers counter (not pre packed nor advertised as halal) at Tempe Woolies! Also Haberfield Lamonica IGA stock it, both supermarkets catering to local demographics.

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          • Thanks Ella – Well Tempe Woolies seems a lot more ‘civilized’ than Tahmoor Woolies 🙂 ! And the local IGA honestly just keeps the old ‘steak, chops and sausages’! But thanks heaps!! And John, sorry, sorry, sorry . . . I’ll be ‘good’ for the longest time!!

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  20. Ooooh! Honey mustard!!! We use that a ton here. Mike, Mr. N and I are all addicts. It goes in our hummus, salads, cous cous and on our pretzels, pita chips, sandwiches, etc. So good! I can’t wait to see how you’ve made yours. As for your osso buco, it looks fantastic. I think I will prepare this after the holidays. I love finding good recipes for the slow cooker (I feel like there are so many bad ones out there). This will be delicious! Love how you used the extra sauce too. Two great meals with one sauce. Enjoy your visit with Zia. Wish her well for us. 🙂

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    • Hi, Kristy. I used to make a mustard that used Guinness but it’s no good for people who are alcohol or gluten-free. That’s when i started looking around for honey mustard. Now that’s all I make and I give it away at Christmas. I don’t give away the osso buco, though. I’m way too selfish for that! 🙂
      I’ll be sure to tell give Zia your well wishes — and give her an update of your thespian and humanitarian kids. 🙂

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    • Thank you. We’re big fans of polenta here and serve it often. Many is the time I’ve served a dish with potatoes because I didn’t want to put up another photo here with polenta on it. 🙂

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    • We share a love for anchovies, Claire, and I’ll throw a fit if I order a Caesar salad an there are no anchovies. How dare they!!!
      My drive has been delayed. I should have left about 3 hours ago but both routes have ice patches and accidents. I’m waiting a spell to give them plenty of time to get the roads clear. Tell me again why I live so far up North. 🙂

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  21. grande, grande grandissimo piatto l'”osso Buco” anche nella tradizione toscana ci sono molti modi per cucinarlo, personalmente ne conosco almeno una decina, ora ne ho appreso altri da te che credo molto presto vorrò sperimentare.Fai degli accostamenti molto interessanti e sempre vari:Bravissimo John, ti ringrazio moltissimo augurandoti una notte serena

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  22. I doubt that there’s a more comforting, traditional Italian dish than this one John. Nothing better than slow-cooked meat, practically falling off the bone. I’ve never made Osso Buco before, but there has to be a first time of everything, right? So I’ll be looking out for shanks of all kinds in the week to come. Enjoy your pre-Christmas visit with Zia! 🙂

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    • I am so with you, Margot. Few meals satisfy as well as one that includes braised meat. Everything about them spells comfort and I love them. A number of people have mentioned pork shanks and they’ve piqued my interest — and appetite! When I return home, I’ll be on a quest for pork shanks. My departure has been delayed due to poor road conditions. I still may leave this morning or wait until tomorrow. Either way, I’ll be moving slowly. No need to rush. Zia isn’t going anywhere. 🙂

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  23. Oh man I LOVE a good osso buco. How great that you found your mom’s recipe. I like the idea of substituting beef shanks. We have access to humanely-farmed veal though, and I often make the trek to stock up on it. I’m Dutch and veal features in many traditional Dutch recipes. Have never added anchovies to gremolata but that sounds like an amazing flavor kick. Enjoy your visit with Zia!

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    • I so agree with you, Saskia. It is such a wonderful dish, isn’t it? Putting aside the humane concerns, veal here is very expensive and I rarely cook veal shanks unless it is a very special occasion. Beef shanks work equally well, even if they don’t have the “cachet” that their veal cousins enjoy. That’s fine with me and my dinner guests, who certainly wouldn’t be seated here if I had to pay for veal for them all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Bonjourno John! Mouthwatering just reading your moms recipe ingredients and fork tender. I have not had this since I lived at home. I wonder if my mom makes it similar to yours. I will have to ask. My mom is terrible as she never writes down any of her recipes. We need to savour these memories and delicious recipes and you have done this via your blog. It has been an amazing journey…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Buongiorno, BAM!! It must be in our genes, BAM. So few of our recipes were written down, too. Even my own. I went to get the honey mustard recipe ready for posting and all that I have is a list of ingredients and a couple of notes. I’ve made this mustard for the last 2 Christmases and this is the best I can do? I know Mom is laughing over this one.
      I never would have thought that my attempt to record our recipes would be so rewarding and in so many ways. It has been, as you said, truly an amazing journey. I hope you have a great weekend, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I do love osso buco and it’s love that you have managed to retain a few of your mother’s recipes. My grandmother had a few excellent recipes but none were ever written down and it would be so special if I could honour them in my blog. I too, have issues with the way calves are raised to produce veal. If it’s done in a humane way I have no problem with it but wrenching them away from their mothers just hours after being born and then being kept indoors in terrible enclosures is just horrific. I’m glad you’re able to source some well-raised veal. Like you, I often use beef shanks and I think the osso buco turns out just as well. This is a great recipe for your current temperatures xx

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  26. Thanks for sharing your mother’s recipe John even if you did make a nice substitute for the veal. This recipe is comfort food in so many ways. I could see us pulling the dining table up next to the fireplace, lighting some candles and let the flavors warm us inside and out. So good!

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  27. I can probably eat a whole veal shank on my own, with a dollop of polenta and a good serving of the veggies. It truly looks delicious John. If Bartolini allowed virtual orders, I would have this for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the story!

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  28. I think I’ve made Osso Buco but of course, I can’t recall what cut of meat I used, lol, as my focus is always on the other ingredients and the method of preparation. As I recall they turned out lovely but obviously not memorable or I would have made them again. It’s great to have a family tried and true recipe to try for the next time! This would be a really impressive dish for company! What a lovely surprise to find your mom’s recipe.. what a gift! Have a wonderful trip to visit Zia and give her a hug for me:) xx

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  29. Slow cooker, what a brilliant idea! I used the one last time and though they came out wonderfully, I think slow cooker may be the better way to go, energy wise. I used beef shanks because thats all I could find and they were great. I thoroughly enjoyed the Osso Buco. Haven’t made it again, so your recipe comes at the right time, time to make it again!
    Your mom left you one more recipe than mine did! But to be fair, she passed away very unexpectedly and I never had the chance to get her recipes down in writing; always thought I had plenty of time. I always find a recipe on the web or from my family and cook it once to see if it’s like hers and then I tweak it until it’s how I remember it. It’s all I can do really.
    Life is unpredictable and that’s one reason for my blog. My children will at least have my recipes.
    Have a wonderful trip John and give my love to Zia 🙂

    Nazneen

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  30. What a gorgeous fall/winter dish. The aroma must have been intoxicating John. I recently saw this cut of meat at the butcher and thought it would make an excellent dish and now armed with your dear Mom’s recipe, I have no doubts! Do have a safe journey to see Zia, I sure hope you didn’t and won’t have any more car dramas like the last time. I’m really looking forward to see what you cook up this time. Stay safe my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Eva. Your comments always give me cause to smile. I was ready to leave. The car was packed, warmed, and Lucy was buckled in, when I heard “This just in …” on the morning news. There are a number of spin outs on the Indiana toll road new South Bend and a jackknifed truck on I-94, my alternate route. I’ve delayed my departure now for at least another hour, hoping all will be clear. Both spots are 2 hours away so that should give them plenty of time to salt the spots. If the road reports don’t improve, I’ll delay leaving until tomorrow. This is why I don’t travel in to Michigan in Winter. Not to worry. No matter when I leave, I’ll be careful. I’ve got my kids with me 🙂

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  31. Love, love, love Osso Buco! We adore veal, but the humane version is a pretty penny and our choice for special occasions. I made Osso Buco with beef short ribs just this week and the aroma had me longing for dinner all afternoon! It is a fabulous meal and I use the leftover sauce for vegetable beef soup — So Good. I do like your idea of serving it over pasta, that is another brilliant move. And the polenta … another good call.
    Above all else, is the satisfaction it must bring to put together your mom’s notes and stir in the memories. Nothing makes food better than that.

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  32. I have only been served Osso Buco in a fine restaurant and that was one time! I think I’d be quite happy with the beef over veal and it’s time to try it at home. It must have been very satisfying to find your mom’s complete recipe, John. I have a picture in my mind of you sleuthing around detective style trying to locate some of her culinary mysteries. 🙂 This is a really elegant yet hearty dish I’d love to master. Thank you for excellent directions and my family will thank you, too!

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  33. You know this is one of those recipes that I’ve always said I want to try but never had. You make it sound easy enough, especially with the use of the slow cooker (I don’t know how many things I’d not bother making if I had to tend to something in the oven for any length of time). It’s interesting that you found a partial recipe and then the full recipe for this and has made me think of what my daughter would make of the cryptic notations in my cookbooks if she ever tried to use them. I’m going to have to be a little more careful with what my comments & symbols mean because I doubt that anyone else could decipher them.

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  34. How good that you found the original recipe from your mother. This would be amazing from the first forkful to the last. Have fun with your zia!

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  35. What a beautiful dish! I just picked up a quarter cow from a local meat locker that we purchased from a local rancher. My husband set up the order, and I just picked it up so have no idea if I have anything in there that could be used for this recipe. It was a LOT of packaged meat. Either way, I know we are set for grass-fed beef for the winter!

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  36. Here’s my problem, John: If I read your posts before breakfast (as I’ve just done), then I won’t be satisfied with any meal other than the one you’ve written about. But I’m not complaining! Just saying, is all.

    How satisfying to have found your mother’s complete recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Also, I’ve been using the slow cooker A LOT this autumn, and am always casting about for new ideas. Thanks for posting this.

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  37. What a lovely dish, and how wonderful that you have those recipe notebooks. You’ve got some real treasures there. Sadly when many of these women passed on, they took their recipes with them, not having committed them to paper. Or, worse, to my mind, the daughters and sons saw no need keep what may have been written. Kudos to you for having kept the books, making such good use of them and for sharing your family treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank yo so much for the kind words. Yes, I was very pleased t find those notebooks. I only wish I had known of them while Mom was still alive. I would love to have sat with her and gone over them with them. You’re so right about recipes not being recorded. Mom and her Sister, my Zia, were the first in their family to record anything. There are no recipes from Dad’s side of the family. Recipes? Who needs ’em? 🙂

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  38. That va-va-voom Osso Buco made me drool profusely! Man! That is quite a sexy shot! I always copy-cat my Mom’s recipes. Other people’s Moms’ recipes don’t stand a chance in my kitchen 😀 But If I find a dish THAT good looking like your Osso-Buco, chances are I’d try them 🙂

    Its always a pleasure to read the memoir involving your close & dear ones.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  39. Thank you for mentioning that typically (or again probably depends on the source) more humane alternative, beef shanks. I just can’t do veal, and really have been trying to more frequently seek (which means pay for) the more humane and sustainable sources. Wild Idea Buffalo is our “go to” red meat source, although we still buy some locally due to the cost — lean buffalo is so much better for you typically than beef, and I love the philosophy and sustainability of the Wild Idea ranch.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if we don’t “chat” before then, John!

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  40. John, I love Osso Buco and I love veal. I know I hate to post a veal recipe lest people slap me up the side of the head. I don’t cook with it often but sometimes I succomb as the veal stew I posted a while back.

    I have many recipes in my grandmother’s hand I still use often in my kitchen. It’s wonderful to have the old recipes from their kitchens with the finger smudges and bits of grease.

    Happy Thanksgiving from me as well in case we don’t chat before then as well.

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  41. Your mother’s notebooks are treasures. Have a wonderful time with Zia and a delicious Thanksgiving with those you love. That honey mustard looks powerful!
    Thanks for your likes and comments on the blog, John. Stay warm if you can. Getting new furnace today so that is on my mind, the being warm part.
    xxoo

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  42. How the hell did I miss this recipe? I just ‘dropped by’ to see what you’ve been up to. I know I’ve said this about several other of your recipes.. but I truly LOVE Osso Buco! I used to make it for my husband when we lived in Malta and he was having difficulty eating due to ‘health problems’.. He sure used to be happy when I made Osso Buco for him! As you mentioned, I am one of those who has a hard time with ‘eating baby animals’, so I used beef shanks. And what a great idea to cook them in a slow cooker!! I’m not sure I can even find beef shanks around here but I’m sure going to try. John, my sweet friend, YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN !!

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  43. It occurred to me now that I’m raising my head up from deadlines, that I hadn’t seen a post from you in a while. Still following and still getting email, but I completely missed this one! Love Osso Buco and haven’t had it in so long. I’ve never made it but if I ever do, I’m using this Osso Buco della Mamma recipe…it looks divine. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you, Zia and your whole family, John!

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