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Ossobuco (pronounced [ˌɔsːoˈbuːko]) is a Milanese speciality of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla milanese.
There are two types of ossobuco: a modern version that has tomatoes and the original version which does not. The older version, ossobuco in bianco, is flavoured with cinnamon, bay leaf and gremolata. The modern and more popular recipe includes tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions. Gremolata is optional.
Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for "bone with a hole" (osso bone, buco hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank. In the local Western Lombard Milanese dialect, this dish's name is oss bus.
This dish's primary ingredient, veal shank, is common, relatively cheap and flavorful. Although tough, braising makes it tender. The cut traditionally used for this dish comes from the top of the thigh which has a higher proportion of bone to meat than other meaty cuts of beef. The shank is then cross-cut into sections about 3 cm thick.
Although recipes vary, most start by browning the veal shanks in butter after dredging them in flour, while others recommend vegetable oil or lard. The braising liquid is usually a combination of white wine and meat broth flavoured with vegetables.
Risotto alla milanese is the traditional accompaniment to ossobuco in bianco, making for a one-dish meal. Ossobuco (especially the tomato-based version) is also eaten with polenta or mashed potatoes. Outside Milan, it is sometimes served with pasta.
- Oxford English Dictionary, draft revision (December 2007)
- Francesco Angiolini, Vocabolario milanese-italiano coi segni per la pronuncia, 1897 oss bus
- Clifford A. Wright on ossobuco
- Cuts of veal as displayed on Merriam-Webster.com
- Touring Club Italiano, Guida all'Italia gastronomica, 1984, p. 207
- Waverley Root, The Food of Italy, 1971, p. 272
- Giada De Laurentiis' recipe for ossobuco on the Food Network website
- Info on ossobuco at Newitalianrecipes.com