Osso Bucco

Cooking date: February 16, 2019

Back in 2011 Mike Vrobel – the genius behind DadCooksDinner.com wrote a blog post and recipe about osso bucco – a dish made from beef shanks. It looked delicious and with the pressure cooker it would be quick. Yet I hadn’t cooked it. Often when going to the butcher I’d see the beef shanks in the case and think “I really need to make that dish.” But then I didn’t. And then, a few weeks ago I decided to make beef broth for my Super Bowl chili and I used beef shanks along with ox tails. That does it I thought – I’m going to make osso bucco. We invited some friends over for dinner Saturday night and I got busy.

Ingredients for Osso Bucco – minus the beef shanks.
Mis en place – more or less – for Osso Bucco

Mike’s recipe calls for 6 beef shanks weighing about 3 pounds total. Maybe the steers are smaller in Ohio. One beef shank at Good Season’s Market weighed in at over 2 pounds. I bought two. I had hoped each person would get a full piece but it was not to be.

Beef shanks and other ingredients for Osso Bucco

After searing the shanks, then sautéing the carrots, onion, and celery, and deglazing the pan with some dry white wine, everything goes in the pot and cooks in an electric pressure cooker – my Instant 6-quart Pot IP-Duo – for 36 minutes and a 20 minute natural pressure release.

I thought roasted carrots would be a good choice for a side dish. Normally we cut them into 3-5 inch lengths, toss with olive oil and salt, and toss in the oven. But a few months ago I found a Serious Eats recipe for roasted carrots that I wanted to try. Two things intrigued me; first the carrots are parboiled before roasting, second, they are seasoned with cumin and Harissa – North African chili – paste for roasting and served on a platter of Crème Fraîche – though I used sour cream.

Carrots, olive oil, and Harissa paste for the side dish.
Olive Oil, cumin, pepper, Harissa paste for roast carrots. (We also used kosher salt)

I saved a bit of the paste/sauce for garnish after cooking then tossed everything in a large bowl then spread on a sheet pan for roasting.

Roasted carrots

Carla made polenta. Yum.

When the beef was done I pulled it from the pressure cooker and poured the cooking liquid through a strainer into a gravy separator. After waiting 10 minutes for the fat to float on top, I poured the jus into a gravy boat.

More by luck than by plan everything came out almost at the same time.

Polenta for our Osso Bucco dinner
Roasted carrots with Harissa paste and braised beef shanks for dinner.

The recipe calls for pouring a bit of jus over the beef and topping with a mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley to brighten the dish – both visually and for taste.

Dinner is served.

Rating: ★★★★

Parboiling the carrots before roasting made them extra good. Even if I don’t use the Harissa paste every time, I’ll parboil them if I have the time.

Yum, this was a delicious dinner – everyone liked it. I highly recommend it. Get the full recipes linked above from Dad Cooks Dinner and Serious Eats. This is definitely in our guest-dinner rotation. If you come over for dinner you just might get to sample this dish.

A note about the photography: I took these pictures using Godox XPro TTL wireless flash trigger driving 2 Godox speed lights mounted on S-mounts shooting through translucent umbrellas.. I used Manual mode with an ISO of 100 (mostly) and speeds between 1/125 and 1/250 of a second and an aperture f/5.6 ==> f/16. I’m pleased with the diffused light that didn’t have too many hot spots and minimized shadows.

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