Osso bucco traditionally calls for veal but I took a chance on beef shanks because it is cheaper and more accessible. It was a success! My husband said it was worth the long wait (whew!) and for me the flavors sent me back to Rome, in that restaurant near the Piazza Navona called La Scaletta Degli Artisti where I had tasted Osso Bucco for the very first time.
6 1-inch thick beef shanks - about 3-31/2 pounds
3 strips of bacon, diced
Flour for dredging
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken or beef broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 dry bayleaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
for the gremolata
3 tablespoon fresh flat parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 325F.
Heat a dutch oven on stove top over medium heat and cook bacon until crispy. Set aside bacon.
Season beef on both sides with salt and pepper then dredge with some flour shaking off any excess.
To the hot bacon fat in the Dutch oven, brown the beef over medium high heat, about 3 minutes per side. Set beef aside to a plate.
Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and add celery, carrot, and onions to the pan. Season with salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
Pour in the wine and deglaze, then add back in the bacon and beef. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add rosemary sprig, bay leaf and broth and bring to a boil.
Cover pan and put it in the oven until meat is tender. Check every 30 minutes, turning shanks and adding more stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the meat.
Serve shanks with the sauce poured over it and garnish with the parsley and lemon zest.
Serve with asparagus risotto or mashed potatoes.