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Braised Osso Buco with Gremolata
From Ten, by Sheila Lukins

This osso buco is fairly traditional, but it is such an extremely delicious preparation that in this case, I let the meat and tradition speak for themselves. Serving the osso buco over Saffron Orzo enhances all the flavors and makes for a stunning presentation.

Marrow is one of those rare treats, and osso buco is a great excuse to indulge. Be sure to provide little spoons for scooping the marrow out of the bones. Enjoy it spread on toasted peasant bread.

Ingredients:

6 center-cut veal shanks, cut 2 inches thick (each about 12 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 cups prepared marinara sauce or Basic Tomato Sauce
2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 cups dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Saffron Orzo, for serving
Gremolata, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F (160C).

2. Sprinkle the veal shanks generously with salt and pepper.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the veal shanks and cook until browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer them to a plate and set it aside.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the celery, carrots, and onion to the casserole. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, adding the garlic during the last 5 minutes.

5. Add the marinara sauce, broth, wine, and thyme to the casserole, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Return the veal shanks to the casserole. (The sauce should reach about halfway up the meat.) Cover, transfer to the oven, and bake until the meat is very tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. (Do not overcook the meat.)

7. Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully skim the fat from the surface, using a metal spoon. Serve the osso buco over Saffron Orzo in shallow bowls, and sprinkle a tablespoon of gremolata over each portion. Don't forget the small spoons for scooping out the lush marrow.

Yield: Serves 6

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