Sunday Supper: B’s Famous Osso Bucco and Creamy Basil Polenta (video clips)

This dish is absolutely amazing! If you want a dish that will make you famous, try this one. Please be advised that this is a very advanced dish requiring a feel for the kitchen and familiarity with the processes. It is a time commitment to make this as it will take a minimum of four hours. It is recommended to cook longer to maximize the tenderness. B makes this dish all day while watching football. This dish on the left, was prepared in six and a half hours and the prep took about an hour. But ooh la la, it is worth the time and energy!

What you will need:

2 whole big Carrots

2 celery stalks

1 yellow onion

olive oil

7 garlic cloves

2 cans diced San Marzano tomatoes

1 bottle dry Italian red wine such as chianti (reserve

2 cartons of organic beef stock (recommended Pacific Natural Foods)

2 bay leaves

2 T. tomato paste

Salt & Pepper

dried oregano


heavy whipping cream or half & half (you can substitute low fat milk here)




4 veal shanks / osso bucco ***Sugar Lips Tip: When buying the shanks, they could be labeled as either veal shanks or osso bucco***


What to do:

Prepare the meat by mixing 1/2 cup flour, salt & pepper in a bowl and dredging the veal shanks through it to lightly coat. Heat 3 T. olive oil in a dutch oven on medium high heat. Once, the oil comes to temp, sear the shanks on all sides. Remove the shanks from the dutch oven (DO) and set aside. Add diced carrots, celery and 1/2 diced yellow onion to the DO. Saute on medium high until all are brown and caramelized. Crush two cloves of garlic and give it a rough chop. Add to the mix and stir for a minute to smell the fragrance of the aromatics. Add the two Tb. tomato paste and incorporate. Next, you will add one can of the San Marzano tomatoes and turn the heat up to high. You will want to reduce until all of the liquid out of the mixture.

Once you have reduced the mixture, add 3/4th of the bottle of wine and reduce again until the braising liquid is approximately a quarter of the amount that you started with. For example, if you have approximately 4 cups of liquid in the DO, reduce it to 1 cup. Add two cartons of beef stock, 7-10 roughly chopped basil leaves, 2 bay leaves to the pot and reduce to half. Pre-heat your oven to 275. If you have time, B recommends covering the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer to let the flavors coalesce for about an hour. If you don’t have time, add the veal shanks, cover and stick the DO in the oven. Let this the shanks braise for a minimum of three hours rotating the veal throughout the process. Please note***your shanks will want to float because of the higher fat content so it is important that you make sure that they are submerged throughout the process.

While your shanks are in the oven, begin your marinara sauce by dicing the other 1/2 of your onion. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the onions to the pan and saute for 7 minutes. Add 5 diced garlic cloves and cook for one minute stirring constantly to avoid burning your garlic. Burned garlic becomes bitter and will ruin the flavor. Add the second can of San Marzanos to the pan and cook on high heat for 20 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 bottle of wine to the sauce along with 1 T. dried oregano. Stir, reduce heat to medium high and cook for 30 minutes or so. Cook until the sauce is condensed and thick. Remove sauce from the stove top and liquefy in a food processor or blender and return to pan. Simmer over low heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

To make your polenta, add 2 cups of braising liquid or chicken stock to a large sauce pan. Add 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of water, 1/2 stick of butter and 7-10 roughly chopped basil leaves. Bring to a boil and whisk in two cups of polenta making sure to whisk constantly and reduce heat to low. Grate fresh Parmesan into the polenta, stir, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Pull the shanks from the oven and plate as seen in the photo. cover shanks with marinara sauce. Shave parm over the top and serve. YUM!

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