Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Osso Buco

I have always loved the idea of osso buco. It stood for everything I loved about slow food, tender flavourful meat and deep rich sauce. I hadn't tried to cook it myself as D doesn't like veal nor does he like meat on the bone but I had spent a fair amount of time trying to think of a way to change his mind.

My first taste of osso buco was at the 2009 Good Food and Wine Show at the Celebrity Chef Restaurant. It was a veal osso buco by Tobie Puttock and it was incredible. It only fueled my love for a dish I've only tasted once...

I finally tried to make it myself when my mother bought us our pressure cooker. The fates continued to align when I found beef osso buco in Coles. One hurdle down!

Earlier this year (may have been last year) Australian Good Taste magazine included a free mini magazine dedicated to all types of slow cooking. It's an awesome little book and covers slow cooking on the stove, in the oven or using a pressure cooker or slow cooker. They have also included a rundown on how eat method of cooking works, advantages and disadvantages and a fantastic little table on how to adapt recipes designed for other methods of slow cooking to the way you want to cook. I have no idea which edition the booklet came from, but the booklet has been within arms reach ever since I got my pressure cooker.

The recipe I used to make my first osso buco came from the mini magazine. There are two osso buco recipes included, one for the slow cooker and one for the oven. The one for the oven looks more authentic, using the holy trinity of onions, carrot and celery and no gremolata, but I decided to go with the slow cooker version. I used the handy table to make sure I could use a pressure cooker, but all that really needed to be changed was the cooking time.

It was really easy. This was a good thing because I was trying out the pressure cooker after work and I really wasn't in the right frame of mind for anything too complicated. I made the recipe pretty much as written, except I substituted beef osso buco instead of veal and I didn't have any lemon thyme so I used normal thyme and some lemon rind. I also halved the amount of meat, because there was only two of us eating.

I browned the meat in the pressure cooker after flouring, but after that I added all the ingredients, sealed it up and cooked for approximately 25 minutes. While the osso buco cooked, I made the gremolata and potatoes. Once the meat was cooked, I removed it from the pressure cooker and then reduced the sauce to give it a richer consistency.

I loved it. It was as good as the one from the Food and Wine Show, if I do say so myself. I did think that the beef osso bucco didn't have quite the flavour that veal would have had, but it was only a thought and didn't take anything away from the success of the recipe.

We've made this again using veal osso buco (shh, don't tell D) and it did have a subtle difference in flavour.

Veal Osso Buco with Gremolata
from Good Taste Slow Cooking p34

Note: I halved the amount of meat in this recipe but kept the volume of liquid the same as I was cooking in the pressure cooker.

50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
8 (1.5kg) veal osso buco shin slices
400g can diced tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
125ml white wine
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 dried bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme (I used regular thyme and a big peeling of lemon rind)


1/2 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind

Place the flour on a large plate. Add the veal and toss to coat. Shake off excess.

Heat pressure cooker (unsealed) over a high heat with a little bit of olive oil. Brown the veal on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate.

Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and half of the thyme and and cook for about a minute until coloured, stirring to pick up any floury bits on the bottom of the pan.

Return the veal to the pot and add the tomato, stock, wine, lemon zest and remaining thyme. Seal the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure. Once it comes to pressure, cook for 25-30 minutes depending on the size of the veal.

Prepare the gremolata by combining the parsley, garlic and lemon rind in a bowl.

Once the meat has finished cooking, remove the pressure cooker from heat and allow it to depressurize. Remove the cooked veal to a plate.

Return the unsealed pressure cooker to the stove over a high heat and cook the sauce, stirring, until reduced by one-third to a half.

Serve with mashed potatoes and gremolata.


  1. Wow, this looks delicious! Would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog:

    I am doing meat month soon and would love to post your recipe and pictures for my readers to see!

    I will keep following your pressure cooker adventures.

    Buon Appetito!


  2. this looks divine and we are having just the right weather for it at the moment - COLD. Unfortunatley its only going to get colder. Also unfortunately, I don't have a pressure cooker OR a slow cooker, do you think I can make this in the oven and if so any suggestions as to recipe modifications?

  3. elle pee - thanks for your comment, I'll send you an email!

    Emily & Adrian - I certainly can. To cook it in the oven, brown the meat and vegetables in a flameproof casserole dish, then cover and cook at 180 degrees C for 1-2 hours or until meat is tender. Check halfway through cooking and add extra liquid if necessary :)