Embrace the positive

The temperature has not been above 30 degrees for some time.  The sky is steel-gray; the wind is blowing fiercely; snow is on the ground and the air smells like more is on the way.  Ugh!  Just shoot me now.  This is the beginning of February and I hate it!  Give me April, May, June, July, August September, October- even November….okay okay, I’ll take December too.  Just save me from January through March –my worst months.  But, as they say, you need to “embrace the positive of what you have.”  Okay, I can work with that- particularly with food! 

 Wretched cold weather makes me crave warm and cozy food.  Osso Buco is as good as it gets.  A warm yet delicate veal stew, Osso Buco satisfies all you crave in February.  And, the best part is, it is made in one dish.  You sear the meat, cook the veggies, add the liquid and cook for 2 plus hours.  Presto-chango,  you have a fabulous meal!  It ALMOST makes you like winter…well, let’s not get too crazy! 

 Osso Buco– serves 8 with leftovers

1 c. flour

sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

12-14 sections of veal shank

¼ c. olive oil

4 T. unsalted butter

4-6 medium sized onions, coarsely chopped

5 large carrots, coarsely chopped

8 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 t. dried basil

1 t. dried oregano

1 (35 oz) can Italian plum tomatoes

2 c. dry white wine

4 c. beef stock

½ c. flat leaf parsley, chopped

grated zest of 2 lemons

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Season the flour with salt and pepper, and dredge the pies of veal in it.  Shake off any excess.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a large flame proof casserole or dutch oven and quickly sear the veal  over medium-high heat, browning well on all sides.  Transfer veal to a plate.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, basil and oregano to casserole and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium low heat for another 10 minutes.  Skim off any excess fat.
  6. Add the wine, bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Return the veal shanks to the casserole and add enough beef stock to cover the meat.  Cover the casserole and bake for 1 ½ hours.  Remove the lid and continue baking or another 30 minutes until the veal is very tender.
  8. Sprinkle each portion with chopped parsley and grated lemon zest.


  1. katie
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Caroline! Would this be a good dish to serve to guests? Seems you could make ahead? I am ALL THUMBS in the kitchen. This looks delish & anything i can make ahead when having guests is a plus! Thanks. love your site! katie

  2. Posted February 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    YES! This is a fabulous dish to have for guests! It can be in advance and is even better the next day!

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