A good hearty stew to warm the cockles
Lamb osso buco is a lovely, simple stew when you need to feel warm and cosy.
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOKING TIME: 2 hrs
IDEAL FOR: crowd-pleaser, family
What is Osso Buco?
It originates in Milan.
And is an Italian phrase that basically means a bone with a hole in it or a cross-cut shank or shin of a young calf.
The cross-cut veal shank has the marrow hole at the centre which gives lovely lush flavours to the stew.
Traditionally, the braising liquid is some combination of wine and stock, and the veal may or may not be browned in flour first.
It’s slow-cooked for hours so the meat gets fork-tender.
Then to serve, they add gremolata (a mixture of chopped lemon peel, parsley, and garlic) as the garnish.
However, I’m using lamb osso buco as I’m not that keen on using veal.
There are loads of different versions of osso buco.
But they all give you the same thing.
And that’s a hearty dish, full of rich flavour and tender meat.
Time to get cosy with a hearty osso buco
And it was this week that the weather definitely shifted into serious Autumnal temperatures.
I was definitely a bit optimistic heading up to London with shorts packed in my bag.
But although the temperature is on a downward trajectory, the October skies are epic.
I was lucky enough to be walking home each night along the River Thames.
And the light was incredible… I hate to use it but #nofilters (cringe).
Unfortunately for me, cooking in London isn’t the same as cooking back in Devon.
It’s a little tight in a galley kitchen to do a nice big meal.
But actually, a slow-cook is pretty perfect as it’s a simple prep, then leave to do its thing.
And lamb osso buco couldn’t be easier.
The key to a good stew, as always, is browning the meat first.
Don’t overcrowd the meat when you do this, you need some patience.
And then you must always use the same pan to add in your mirepoix (another key element in a stew).
Once you throw in some wine or stock, you scrap all those lovely brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
This is flavour!
So, never, ever pull out a clean pan when cooking a nice stew.
Then after this (little) effort.
You simply leave the osso buco to gently bubble away for 2 hrs or until the meat is tender.
What could be easier?
All that’s left is to do is a dish to go alongside.
And I have 3 ideas that you might like.
3 sides dishes to serve with osso buco
The traditional side to go with the veal osso buco is risotto alla Milanese.
1. Risotto Milanese
This is a classic Italian dish.
And is made with risotto rice and sautéed onions, butter, broth or water, salt and pepper… and a pinch of saffron.
Its lovely creamy texture is perfect to soak up the rich flavours of the osso buco.
2. Green beans almondine
This would be my favourite.
Mainly because it’s super simple as a side dish.
And gives a nice freshness and crunch to the rich osso buco.
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious side dish, this is a great option.
You slightly sauté the beans and toss in butter until golden brown before being topping them off with slivered almonds and crispy bacon.
3. Cauliflower gratin with fontina cheese
This cauliflower gratin recipe is a bit more effort.
But can be made ahead of time and is delicious.
Fontina is a cow’s milk semi-soft cheese.
You can substitute in Emmental or Gruyere cheese.
Zesty gremolata garnish
Or gremolada, is a green sauce made of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
It is the traditional garnish to the Osso buco alla Milanese.
Lamb osso buco
Enjoy this hearty, rich, flavoursome dish.
It’s the perfect autumnal meal to keep the troops happy.
As the evenings draw in.
Lamb osso buco
- plain flour, for dusting
- 700 – 1000 g lamb osso buco
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
- 1 head garlic, cut horizontally through the middle
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 200 ml white wine
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- Lightly sprinkle some plain flour to dust the lamb pieces.
- Heat the oil in a large lidded casserole over high heat and add the lamb to fry for 2–3 mins on each side, until lightly golden brown (don't over-crowd so do in batches if necessary). Then remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- To the same casserole dish, add the onion, carrot, leek, celery and garlic and fry over medium heat for 3–4 mins, until lightly golden. Then add the thyme, bay leaves, white pepper and a pinch of salt and mix well. Place the lamb back on top of the vegetables in a single layer and pour over the wine.Cook until the wine has reduced by half, then add the stock and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a cartouche (a circle of baking paper) and a lid and simmer gently for 2 –3 hrs, or until the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone easily.
- Serve (ideas to serve with it in the blog).
Inspired by Angela Hartnett