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Osso Buco with Meat Sauce, Ossibuchi al Sugo

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Ossibuchi al Sugo, Stewed Veal Shanks

Ossibuchi al Sugo, Stewed Veal Shanks

Kyle Phillips Licensed to About.Com
Mention ossibuchi (veal shanks) and most people think of the classic Milanese version with a rich herbal gremolata, perhaps served with rice. However, stewed veal shanks are very nice too, and this recipe also yields a fantastic pasta sauce. To serve 4:

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • A medium onion, minced
  • A medium carrot, minced
  • A medium stick of celery, minced
  • A small bunch parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 4 slices of veal shank about 1 inch (a little more than 2 cm) thick and 6-7 inches across, about a pound and a half (700 g) in all
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • A 1-pound (450 g) can canned tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano, served at the table
  • A scant pound (400 g) short pasta, such as penne, cooked in lightly salted boiling water

Preparation:

Make cuts at several points in the membranes surrounding the ossibuchi or they will shrink, causing the ossibuchi to curl as they cook.

Mince the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley. Set the oil to heat in a Dutch oven or earthenware pot big enough to hold the ossibuchi without stacking them and sauté the minced mixture till the onion's translucent. Stir in the ground beef and continue cooking till it's browned, then add the ossibuchi and cook, turning them once so as to brown them on both sides.

As soon as they've browned, add the wine and reduce to a simmer. When the wine's evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer, partially covered, till the ossibuchi are quite tender (2 1/2 - 3 hours). Season to taste, keeping in mind that the sauce will thicken and become more concentrated. Turn the ossibuchi occasionally, stirring the sugo to keep it from sticking, and check seasoning when they're almost done.

Heat the water and cook the pasta; serve the pasta with the sugo and the grated cheese as a first course, and the ossibuchi with the vegetable of your choice as a second course. If it's very cold outside, use a pound rather than half a pound of ground beef, and serve spinaci rifatti with some of the sauce poured over them (this is an extremely traditional way of serving spinach in Tuscany).

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