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Cooking Lessons From Rome

Osso buco

April 1, 2009

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Serves 6

When preparing osso buco, always cook the pieces in a single layer. If you have too many to fit in one pan, use two. Most recipes will instruct you to tie the pieces of meat with string before cooking. Because it's messy to remove the string before serving, I don't use it. In fact, I like the way the meat falls apart when lifted from the pan.

4tablespoons olive oil
1medium red onion, chopped
2large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1stalk celery, chopped
2carrots, chopped
6large sage leaves, finely chopped
1tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1cup canned imported chopped tomatoes
6slices (1-inch thick) veal osso buco
Flour (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1cup dry white wine
1to 2 cups chicken or beef stock
10stems Italian flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
Grated rind of 1 lemon

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a glass or ceramic baking dish, about 11-by-13-inches, large enough to hold the osso buco in one layer.

2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, half the garlic, celery, carrots, sage, and rosemary. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the baking dish. Add the tomatoes and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom.

4. Dust the osso buco pieces lightly with flour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Turn the heat to medium. Set two pieces of osso buco in the pan and cook for 2 minutes on a side or until the meat is browned. Transfer to the baking dish. Continue cooking the pieces of meat, two at a time, until all the meat is browned and transferred to the dish.

6. Pour the wine into the skillet and cook, scraping down the sides, until the wine reduces by half. Pour the wine over the meat. Add enough stock to barely cover the meat. Cover the dish securely with foil. Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven. Cook the meat for 1 1/2 hours, basting with the liquid in the dish once or twice during cooking.

7. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 1 hour more. Total cooking time is 2 1/2 hours.)

8. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley with the remaining garlic. Stir in the lemon rind and mix well.

9. Serve the meat topped with cooking vegetables and juices. Garnish with a small spoonful of the parsley mixture.

Judith Barrett