View Full Version : osso bucco
12-02-2008, 05:47 PM
anyone got a good recipe?
i made it for the first time last night, and though it was good, it tasted too much like beef stew to me....i was really hoping it would have come out similar to the way i've had it in restaurants
i think one error i may have made was using beef shanks instead of veal....i also used a slow cooker, which seemed to work well, but maybe there are better methods out there (though i really prefer to use the slow cooker - so nice to come home to a complete meal)
essentailly my recipe was searing the meat, saute the veggies, deglaze with wine, add herbs and diced tomatoes, combine all and cook for hours
you can't sear in a slow cooker...
recipe for osso bucco is not important, every family has a different one. what's important is the technique... and like all braises... you can't get a good sear in a slow cooker. sorry.
like you've found out. it just turn into beef stew.
12-03-2008, 08:24 AM
How about searing in a different pan and then transferring to the slow cooker?
What did you use as the braising liquid?
12-03-2008, 09:53 AM
anyone got a good recipe?
...it tasted too much like beef stew to me....
i think one error i may have made was using beef shanks instead of veal....
12-03-2008, 05:42 PM
sorry, i wasnt clear
i DID sear/brown them first....dredged in seasoned (salt/pepper) flour, then seared in a stainless pan....used the same pan for the veggies, deglazed with white wine, then put everything in the slow cooker....the only other liquid (besides the wine) was canned diced tomatoes (lazy, i know)
so next time ill use veal....another issue may have been the style of cut - these shanks were only 1 - 1.5 inches thick, whereas they are usually like 6" or so...but it was all i could get that day
would my cooking time have been an issue? they were on low for like 9 hours
2 things :) 1. I would use red wine. Not white. And 2. I wouldn't flour it :) why flour it? You just end up thickening the jus with it. Making it more stew like. Canned tomato is fine. Nothing wrong there. Bests out of season tomato everytime.
Try again without flour and with red wine. When it's cooked, strain the liquid and reduce it more. If you did all that... Really don't need slow cooker right? Just put everything in oven or finish on low heat on burneer :)
12-04-2008, 09:22 AM
when i was making it, i actually wanted to use red wine - but the recipe called for white, and it was my first time, so i figured i would just follow directions...next time it will be red
and you confused me a bit - why would i skip the flour to avoid thickening, when im just going to reduce and thicken it anyway?
i mean, the little bit of flour prob thickens it as much as any reduction
When you reduce 1 gallon of jus to 1 quart, it'll have 4 times the flavor of 1 gallon of sauce thicken with flour.
If you want to make a soup stew, less flavor is fine. That and flour tastes like... Flour.
12-04-2008, 04:36 PM
Traditionally, white wine is used and the meat is floured, like you did.
I'm afraid the only thing you should change is the type of meat, like you indicated: veal!
Thickness: 1.5 inches is max for veal, so maybe that was too much for beef.
Sear well first and don't cook longer than 1.5 - 2 hours.
Make gremolata and serve with risotto...
12-05-2008, 12:35 PM
thanks for the tips, guys
looks like the beef was my biggest mistake....and when i was talking about the size of the beef, i was referring to the size of the cross cut, not the thickness of the meat itself....meaning the bone was about 1.5 inches long, whereas ive had it at places where you get like a 6" long piece....does that make sense?
and yes it's true, classic osso bucco is made with white wine :D and I was wrong!
12-11-2008, 08:50 AM
I like the veal shanks around 1.5" thick. If you have to buy the whole shank the end piece won't have enough meat to serve to someone but you can throw it in the pan for flavor or use it for making stock. If the shank is skinned - and they usually are if you buy them already sliced - I recommend tying them to hold the meat to the bone. Just once around the outside with a piece of butcher's twine will be enough to keep them from falling apart during the braise. Remember to remove the string before serving.
12-11-2008, 10:05 AM
yeah, the butchers twine is def on my list for next time....i had to lift each piece out with a spatula last time because they were falling apart so easily
most of you mentioned a braise of only a couple hours after the sear - i dont have a dutch oven, so ive been using my crockpot (8-9 hours)....is it possible that i cooked the meat for too long, even on the low setting? i thought the meat came out really well - super tender, falling off the bone, not tought at all....but perhaps it could be better
if over cooking isnt doing any damage, i'd rather stay with that - the beauty of a slow cooker is prep-ing before work, and coming home to a complete meal
8-9 hours seem too long on a piece of meat this size. 2-3 hours might work out better.
and yes you can over cook a braise. it can be super tender and melt in your mouth with out completely falling apart :) there's a textural change too, it can fall off the bone and be super moist from the juice it's cooked in, but lose that... meaty-ness. maybe do 2 batches, take out half after 3 hours, and cook the rest longer so you can compare them?
12-12-2008, 02:19 AM
The right amount of time is entirely dependent on the temperature. There are advantages to going a long time (8 hours or even 20) at very low temps, but this is rarely done in a traditional braise, because ovens rarely go low enough, and it's hard to hold a steady low temperature on the stove. I've never used a slow cooker so I don't know their capabilities. People who do braised dishes for very long times typically adapt them for sous vide cooking.
This allows you to thoroughly break down the collagen without actually cooking the meat to well done. We're taught that this isn't possible but it is. The conventional wisdom that collagen only breaks down above 180 degrees (or whatever it is) is incorrect; it breaks down quickly at this temp, but it actually starts to break down slowly around 140 or so.
Something people don't realize about traditional braises is that the meat is actually dried out ... even if it doesn't seem to be. Meat cooked to simmer or slightly below simmer temperatures actually loses most of its moisture. The fact that it's swimming in braising liquid has little effect on this; the protein fibers contract all the way in well done meat and squeeze out the juices. The meat seems moist because the collagen breaks down to gelatin and (sometimes along with the fat marbling) makes the meat succulent. But with longer, lower, slower braising you can actually reduce the amount of drying out. Weather or not you want meatiness or meat falling off the bone is a matter of preference. In either case you can base your final cooking time on testing the meat with a fork. I don't know what texture is traditional with osso bucco.
I don't have a sous vide setup, so I follow a few guidelines when braising. First, brown quickly, at as high a temperture as you can. This keeps you from overcooking the meat too far below the surface. Second, put the braise uncovered into a cold oven, set to 200 degrees or so. This warms it up very slowly, allowing it to spend as much time as possible in the critical range between 70 and 120 degrees, where enzyme activity is highest. This has the effect of accelerated aging; it increases tenderness, improves flavor, and may improve the meat's ability to retain moisture. Third, after a couple of hours, cover, and turn up the oven no higher than 250 degrees. If you have time, leave it at 200. i like to stick a probe thermometer in the braising liquid, and maintain temps below 180. Below 170 is even better, but it will take a long, long time to break down all the collagen at these temps.
You can tell when red meat has been braised with this technique because it actually stays bright pink in the middle. People raise their eyebrows when they see that my short ribs are still pink ... they assume I'm giving them medium rare beef that will be impossible to chew! in fact it's meltingly tender, and cooked way past medium rare. It stays pink because of complex enzyme reactions that don't happen the same way in a hotter, faster braise.
Luckily, it's a pretty hands off process. Time consuming, but you can do a million other things while the deliciousness happens.
12-12-2008, 09:22 AM
looks like i have a few different methods to try next time....last time it came out pretty good, so any improvement is just bonus
thanks for the info guys
Exactly. It may feel moist because of all the jus. But it's actually dried out. Sous vide is great, less liquid needed to. You can use food saver and hot tap water bath (130) for home rigged circulator :)
12-12-2008, 10:27 AM
hmmm, tap water's an interesting idea.
if you have access to your boiler you could actually adjust the thermostat (apologies to anyone who happens to be taking a shower during the 20 hours of your braise)!
i wonder how steady boilers keep the water temp.
in restaurants, you can always find a spot that's just the right temp. At home it's harder. I used tap water for various things but never for 20 hours :p
A good insulating container and small stream of liquid prolly works fine for 20 hours :) someone shoul try!
12-29-2008, 07:13 AM
interesting read for sure.
kind of wanna try braise some meats now.:D
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