Braised Osso Buco with Gremolata
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.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (160°C).
Sprinkle the veal shanks generously with salt and pepper.
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.
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.
Add the marinara sauce, broth, wine, and thyme to the casserole, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
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.)
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.