This Italian dish is made using the sliced shin of veal or beef, the name meaning literally ‘bone hole’ after the marrow bones you use. Essentially a lovely stew, the crowning glory is the zesty gremolata added at the end.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 brown onions, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 kg ossobuco
- plain flour, for dusting
- 2 bay leaves
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- 400 g passata
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring regularly for 10-12 minutes or until very soft but not browned. Popping the lid on for a couple of minutes at a time speeds up this process. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Dust the ossobuco with flour, shaking to remove any excess. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the veal over medium-high heat until browned on both sides, adding more oil if necessary. You will probably need to do it in two batches but take care not to burn the flour on the pan (rub it occasionally with a wooden spoon).
3. Return the vegetables to the pan, add the bay leaves and wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomato passata and 400 ml water, reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer about 1 hour. Season to taste and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the meat is very tender. The older the vealer, the longer it will take.
4. Just before you’re ready to serve, make the gremolata by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir half the gremolata into the ossobuco and return to the boil. Serve sprinkled with the remaining gremolata.
Photography by Tim Thatcher