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Osso buco

The name of this classic means “bone with a hole” in Italian. What the name doesn’t tell you is that the hole is full of some really tasty bone marrow. The name doesn’t say anything about what kind of meat to use. Traditionally, this dish is made with veal. We have thoroughly enjoyed making this with beef shanks. It is a little less expensive, and beef shanks come included with our grass-fed cow order. Braising this tasty cut for a few hours will bring out the triplethreat flavors of marrow, meat, and gelatin. This combination of texture and richness is unforgettable.

4 beef shanks
¼ cup (60 mL) coconut oil
2 cups (300 g) onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
28 ounces (825 mL) whole canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Optional Gremolata

¼ 1/4 cup (6 g) Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
~ zest from 1 lemon

Combine ingredients and mix well in sauce. You may also simply garnish individual servings with gremolata.

  1. Allow meat to come to room temperature before cooking (about 30 minutes). Dust shanks with a pinch of black pepper and salt.
  2. Heat coconut oil over high heat in sauté pan large enough to hold all meat in single layer. Brown both sides of shanks for about 3 minutes each side in pan.
  3. Remove shanks and set aside, reducing heat to medium high, and preheat oven to 350°F (170°C).
  4. Toss onions, carrots, peppers, and garlic in to sauté until they soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return temp to high and pour in your wine and broth. Deglaze pan as you add in your lemon juice, tomatoes, basil, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  6. Reduce liquid by about a third by cooking uncovered. Return the shanks to the pot along with the thyme sprigs.
  7. Cover and place in the oven for 90–120 minutes. Remove from oven when meat is extremely tender.
  8. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to carefully remove contents to serving platter.
  9. Continue to cook/reduce sauce to desired thickness. Pour over shanks when serving.

Variations—Use lamb or veal shank instead of beef. You can also replace a pepper with 2 ribs of celery.

Tips & Tricks—We can’t stress enough that you need to be careful removing the meat from the pot. It makes for better presentation and that tasty marrow stays put in the bone. Yes, eat the marrow!