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Serves 4

Classic Italain by Anna del Conte GF Oct 11

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  • 4 veal ossobuchi or cross cut veal shanks about 250g each
  • flour for dusting
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 300ml meat stock
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest (unwaxed lemon if not wash in hot water)
  • 1/2 garlic clove very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley


    1. Tie the ossobuchi as you would a parcel then lightly coat in flour mixed with 1 tsp salt
    2. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan which has a tight fitting lid large enough to hold the ossobuchi in a single layer. add the veal and brown on both sides in the hot oil then remove to a plate.
    3. Add 25g butter to the pan together with the onion and celery sprinkled with a little salt, to allow the onion to release its liquid and soften without browning. After 10 mins return the meat to the pan with any juices.
    4. Heat the wine in a saucepan and pour over the veal. Turn up the heat and boil to reduce the liquid by half, scraping any residue from the bottom of the pan.
    5. Heat the stock in the wine saucepan and pour about half over the veal. Turn the heat down to very low and cover the pan and cook for 1.5 hrs, carefully turning the meat every 20 mins taking care not to damage the marrow in the bone, until the meat is coming away from the bone. if required add more stock during cooking but no more than 3-4 tbsp at a time. If when the meat is cooked the sauce is too thin remove the meat from the pan and boil rapidly to reduce and thicken the liquid.
    6. Transfer ossobuchi to a heated dish, remove the string and keep warm. Cut the remaining butter into 4 pieces and add a piece at a time to the sauce. As soon as butter has melted remove pan from the heat, the sauce should not boil. The addition of butter gives a glossy sheen and lends to a more subtle flavour.
    7. Mix the ingredients for the gremolada, stir into the sauce and leave for a minute before spooning over the ossobuchi and serving immediately with either seasonal vegetables or more traditionally with a saffron risotto.

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