International Day of Italian Cuisines

My Favourite Recipe of Ossobuco in Gremolata alla Milanese

By Mario Caramella
GVCI President

This recipe will probably raise some controversial comments, but in my opinion and experience, this is a recipe that respects tradition, gives a clear direction to non-Italian colleagues and allows anybody in any part of the world to be able to produce a great ossobuco in gremolata.


A few recommendations before the recipe:

  • Ossobuco can be served with classic risotto alla milanese or with a simple risotto with grana cheese (Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano) can also be a good. Mashed potatoes or polenta are also valid alternatives.
  • Ossobuco can’t be reheated; it is one of those dishes that should be cooked and served.
  • Do not use demi-glace or obsolete beef juice, if you do so it means you really do not understand what ossobuco is about.
  • Do not serve overcooked spaghetti with it as we have seen in many 5-star hotels around the world, and write its name properly.
  • Not ossibucco or osobbucco or osso bucco; once and for all, the the name is ossobuco! Two s, one c! OK?

Recipe (serves: 2)

For the Ossobuco

  • 4 hind veal shank cut 4 to 5 cm thick and 9 to 10 cm large
  • 100 g celery brunoise
  • 100 g carrot brunoise
  • 100 g onion chopped
  • 200 g butter
  • 800 ml veal broth
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 120 g Prosciutto di Parma PDO (Parma ham) with fat, cut diced
  • 200 g tomato, peeled, chopped
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Gremolata

  • 3 g lemon rinds, cut brunoise
  • 6 g sprigs parsley, Italian, chopped
  • 3 g cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and white pepper

Method

  1. Place half of the oil and butter in a casserole and heat over medium flame, season the veal and place in the hot casserole, brown for 5 minutes per side till they are nicely seared and golden brown.
  2. Remove the veal and set aside.
  3. Pour off the excessive fat, add the rest of the butter and the olive oil in the same casserole and add the carrots, the Parma ham, the celery and the onion.
  4. Sauté at low heat until they are wilted.
  5. Turn up the heat.
  6. Add the wine and reduce till almost evaporated.
  7. Add the tomato and the veal broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Carefully arrange the veal in the casserole and spoon some of the vegetables and broth over it, the liquid should cover the surface of the veal, if not, add some more broth.
  9. The casserole should contain the veal just right, however make sure your casserole is not too big or you will end up with to much sauce in the casserole, cxl- the right size brings the liquid cxl with the veal to a boil.
  10. Cover the casserole with foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 180° Celsius, continue cooking for 2 hours.
  11. Remove the foil for the last 30 minute so the surface of the veal will caramelize nicely.
  12. In the meantime prepare the gremolata by mixing the lemon skin brunoise with the chopped parsley and garlic.
  13. At this point the veal will be tender enough that you can eat it with the fork, and the marrow, well-cooked, will develop its characteristic unctuous texture and incomparable flavor.
  14. To serve, remove the veal from the casserole and place it in a hot bowl.
  15. Remove the excessive oil from the sauce, add some veal broth if needed, bring to a boil, adjust the flavor and spoon it over the veal.
  16. Sprinkle the gremolata on top and serve immediately.