You know those meals that your mum makes and you just don’t look forward to it for some reason? Dinner time comes and you sit down to eat, because if you don’t eat, you’re not getting anything else (especially not dessert) and then you sheepishly remember just how good it is?
This is that dish. Ossobucco is a casserole, not my favourite word for a meal but they’re always hearty, full of flavour and mum always made them really tasty.
Ossobucco translates from Italian as “marrow bone”. The cut comes from the shin of the beef or lamb and generally has marrow filled bone in the middle. It’s a slow cook cut, around two hours or so, lid on or covered.
I made this the other week and when trying to find a recipe, couldn’t find one that included vegetables in it. Mum’s Osso Bucco always had vegetables! Knowing the little that I did about how mum makes her casseroles, I made it up on the fly. It’s not that difficult, perfect for popping in the oven and forgetting about until the timer goes. I call this a non-traditional Ossobucco because a traditional one has lemon zest & parsley added in at the end and no vegetables. I did not know this. Including the vegetables means you don’t have to think about what to serve with the Ossobucco. Regardless of what should and shouldn’t be in it, it’s a beautiful winter warmer dish.
Here, I’ll show you.
Coat your steaks in flour, this will help thicken the sauce when it cooks.
Chop up enough vegetables for however many people are eating. Unless you’re like me and are forever chopping up way more than you would actually eat. This is ok because the vegetables go soft and you can use the leftover sauce over pasta.
Brown off your steaks on each side, caramelisation is key!
Once the steaks have browned off, take them out and add your onion and garlic. Once they’re glossy and starting to go transparent, add your carrots, they can go caramelised too.
Add the rest of your vegetables, thyme and 500ml of beef stock. Give everything a good stir & get the delicious bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add your steaks back in, a couple of bay leaves and two tins of tomatoes. Feel free to add any Italian herbs you might have around, oregano, basil, a little chilli…
Cook, covered for an hour and a half at 160, no fan or 140, fan forced. Uncover and cook a further 30 minutes, making sure the sauce is covering the steaks. Serve the Osso Bucco steaks over the vegetables and enjoy. Some crusty bread would be great for soaking up the leftover sauce.
I’m pretty sure I made enough vegetables and sauce for 4 steaks so the recipe can be adapted up or down depending on how many you’re serving. The steaks were giant too! Thanks to the Butcher at the Coventry Markets for the beautiful cut of meat.
- 4 Osso Bucco steaks
- 2 400g tins of diced tomato
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 5cm sections
- 2-4 stalks of celery, chopped (leave this out if you don’t like it)
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- (you can use any mixture of vegetables depending on what you have, they will go fairly soft in the oven)
- 1 T thyme
- 500mL beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- oregano, basil, chilli, salt & pepper
- Plain flour to coat
- Olive oil/butter for browning
- Preheat your oven to 160 C (no fan) or 140 C fan forced.
- Coat your ossobucco steaks in plain flour and set aside.
- Chop all your vegetables.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large oven proof dish until quote hot. Brown the steaks on each side and remove from pan.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for five-ten minutes until glossy and transparent.
- Add the carrots and stir for a few minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables, bay leaves, herbs, salt and pepper, followed by the stock and stir for a further minute making sure to scrape all the caramelisation off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the ossobucco steaks on top and cover with two tins of diced tomatoes making sure to cover the tops of the steaks. You can stir up the vegetables so some are sitting on top of the steaks too.
- Bring the pot to the boil then pop into the oven, lid on for an hour and a half to two hours. If you find the pot has too much liquid, remove the lid for the last half an hour to help it reduce.
- Serve the ossobucco steaks over the vegetables with crusty buttered bread.
I’m hungry now…