Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Veal Osso Bucco with Gremolata

Sometimes it feels like one revolving holiday after another.  And Father's Day has somehow snuck upon us this coming weekend.  So all you daddy's girls cooking for your father this weekend, forget the barbecue and try my rich veal osso bucco with a refreshing gremolata!  Gremolata is usually nothing more than a topping of garlic, lemon, herbs and olive oil. Here, it is enlivened even more with the addition of lavender in the gremolata and to braise the veal.  The subtle floral aroma brightens the dish from a hearty winter dish to a special summer entrée.

My dad is a meat and rice kind of guy.  He loves his steak, pork belly and lamb.  He's usually pretty easy to please if you have any of those items on the plate.

Originally, we headed to Costco to pick up some steak to throw on the grill.  But that immediately changed when his eyes fell on these gorgeous veal shanks.

When I think of veal shanks, I immediately think osso  bucco.  Braised for several hours on the stove with tender, fall off the bone meat, it is an over-the-top dish that will make your dad (and diners!) salivate when you bring it to the dining table. Once you put it on the stove, just let it simmer on low and let it go and have a glass (or two) of wine while you wait for it to finish.

I love the citrusy-garlic of the gremolata which adds a bit of bite and wakens up all of your taste buds. The heat from the piping hot osso bucco releases all of the lovely ingredients in the gremolata.  Who needs to go to a restaurant when you have this osso bucco bubbling away at home? I served my osso bucco over some creamy mashed potatoes with some crispy, oven baked asparagus.  The reduced red wine broth the shanks cook in gets a deep, complex flavor from the long simmer on the stove and thickens slightly from the flour on the veal to create a tasty gravy to sop everything up.  With a bottle of red wine (or be a rebel and drink a crisp bottle of Sauvignon Blanc!), it is the perfect Father's Day meal.  I know my dad finished off his plate.  And even better, the dog got in on it too with the leftover shanks.

Serves 4-6

1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup flour
6 veal shanks, bone-in
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp dried lavender
3 medium size vine grown tomatoes, roughly diced
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup red wine (used Shiraz Cabernet)
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground mixed peppercorns to taste

For gremolata:
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp dried lavender, crushed
1/2 tsp Maldon or flaky sea salt

1.  In a large braising pan, warm oil over high heat.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add shanks into flour mixture and then shake off excess flour. Carefully place shanks into the braising pan and brown for 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and reserve on a plate.

2.  Lower heat to medium-high and add garlic, lavender, tomatoes, celery and carrots.  Stir together until light golden brown. Do not let the garlic burn! Add tomato paste, broth, wine and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add shanks back into the broth mixture and lower heat to low.  Cover and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.  The meat should start pulling away from the bones.

3.  For gremolata, place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.  Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.

4.  Add lemon zest to veal, season with salt and pepper if needed and continue braising for another 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat. For a more home-style approach, serve it at the table in the braising pan.  Otherwise, serve the osso bucco in a large platter on top of mashed potatoes and top with broth/gravy and gremolata.


  1. Your father is a very lucky man!!

  2. Ok so I found this recipe, bought the ingredients and my boyfriend made it for our Christmas dinner... OH MY GOD!!! This was just amazing... really. We had linguines with fresh parmesan and olive oil with that and a Chardonay wine that was just amazing with it, perrrrfect! This was the best Christmas dinner ever! I would love to post a picture but it doesn't seem like I can... I could send you one if you want to :) Anyway... thank you so much for this recipe!!

    1. Hi Melina, thanks for your lovely comment! I am so happy to hear that I was able to share in your Christmas dinner and hope that it made it all the more special for you and your boyfriend. The linguine and wine sound perfect with it! I would love to see a picture of your dinner and see how it turned out. You can share it on my Facebook page: Thanks so much for checking me out!!