March 19, 2011

Restaurant home! Ossobuco

Mmmmm.....Ossobuco is sooooooo good.....mmmm....yummy.....ok let me stop and get serious.

Last Monday, I went to an Italian restaurant in the Old Port named Graziella. Although the menu was quite limited, their food was exquisite, and I had one of the best Ossobuco alla Milanese ever!! Having gone to Italy a few times, I've had the privilege to try many restaurants in different regions and this dish is still one of my favorites! Since I liked the way they served it at this restaurant in particular, I decided to attempt re-creating it at home. To be honeest with you, I should've filmed my sister's reaction when she tasted was very, very, veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery good!!

Before I share the recipe, it's important to know a few things:

-Ossobuco is Italian for
"bone with a hole". Cool.

-It takes about 2 hours to cook everything. So don't do like me and start cooking at 8:30 p.m.

-You can replace the veal shanks with lamb. But it just won't be the same....not as "fall off the bone"

-Veal shanks are not cheap. It's about 20$ for two very large pieces or three medium pieces, so about 7$ per piece: Yeah yeah it's expensive, but way more expensive in restaurants! And besides, the foodgasm that you get out of it is worth the price! I go to my favorite butcher at Marché Atwater: Adelard Bélanger. The service is great, the meat is fresh and they can help you get great meat for your budget.

-Some people prefer cooking it with lots of tomato sauce. I don't but if you like your meat to taste like tomatoes, go ahead. 

-It is usually served with risotto or with creamy mashed potatoes. I understand why they serve it with something light and somehow creamy. The piece of meat is very heavy, so pairing it a side that is not light might be a little too much. 

-Usually, in most recipes, they talk about making a bouquet garni: rosemary, thyme, bay leave etc.. in a cheese cloth. Since I don't have that cheese cloth, I just put the herbs directly in the sauce. Meh. It was good anyways

For 4 people, you will need

-4 veal shanks
-1/3 cup of flour
-Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
-One big onion, chopped
-One green pepper and one yellow pepper, chopped (whatever peppers is fine, if you prefer the red ones it's cool)
-6 garlic cloves, chopped
-2 tablespoons of tomato paste
-4 thyme leaves
-1 bay leaf
-2 cups of white wine
-1 cup of chicken broth (maybe more, you will see if you need more while you're cooking everything)
-Olive oil, butter

For the gremolata

-3 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
-1 teaspoon of lemon zest
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-One garlic clove, chopped
-1 teaspoon of olive oil
Just mix those ingredients together in a bowl, and leave on the side to sprinkle on the ossobuco later. 

-In a large, deep pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. 
-Spice the veal shanks (I put some salt, pepper, a bit of chicken spice and herbes de provence) and dip each one of them in flour, on both sides. Then fry the shanks with the heat between medium and maximum, making sure they are well browned on each side (about 5 minutes on each side). Put them aside.
-Reduce the heat to medium and in the same pan, add the onions, carrots and peppers. Cook all of these ingredients for about 5-8 minutes, until onions start to become softer. 
-Add the garlic, the white wine, thyme and bay leaf. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth and tomato paste, mix everything very well, then add the browned veal shanks. Add more chicken broth if you feel there is not enough liquid. 
-Cover and cook on medium for 1 hour. Lift the lid, check how the meat is (At this point I couldn't help it. I freakin tasted the veal and it was already soooooo good!), add some liquid if necessary (I added some white wine, maybe half a cup).

Should look like this at that point
-Reduce heat between minimum and medium, cook for another half hour.
-When meat is really "fall off the bone" (And you can see it, believe me). 
-Serve with risotto! Follow the recipe here and replace the red wine by white wine. I also added 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, a bit of saffran (to make it "alla milanese) and one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle the top of the ossobuco with some gremolata. Yummy.

A few useful addresses:

Marché Atwater (where you can find all the ingredients for this recipe + buy some good wine at their SAQ selection)
138 avenue Atwater
(easily accessible by the Lionel-Groulx metro station)

Restaurant Graziella
116 McGill street


  1. Thank you so much for the recipe !

  2. you ppl have nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo idea how good this was!


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