Comfort Food

osso bucco

While our winter days have been quite beautiful during the last few weeks, the nights have been downright chilly! The weather forecast for the week ahead promises us nothing warmer than 2°C at night, so please excuse me while I fetch my slippers and preheat the oven. I’ll happily take refuge in the kitchen. This kind of weather makes me crave warm filling stews, homemade apple pies and cup after cup of hot tea.

Comfort food is a lovely concept, like an edible security blanket. It’s the kind of food that wraps you up, warming your body and soul. While everyone’s idea of comfort food differs, most of us have a dish or two that tickles the senses to bring back memories and make us feel happy and safe. I didn’t grow up eating Osso Bucco, in fact this is the very first time I’ve prepared it. But the feeling I got from eating it was the very same as I get from my other childhood favourites like Nanna’s pork and spinach pie or Dad’s spaghetti bolognaise. It was intensely satisfying on many levels.

In Italian, Osso Bucco translates to bone with a hole, referring to the bone marrow in the slices of veal shin. From what I read, I don’t think this version is entirely traditional, but it is definitely delicious! Braising the meat with wine, stock and tomatoes for two hours ensures tenderness – it falls right off the bone. It can also be served with a saffron spiked Risotto alla Milanese, which I would love to try next time I make it. As with most stews, the flavour improves with time, so try and save some leftovers for lunch the next day. It can also be frozen as Donna Hay suggests, and added to tomato soup or as a pie filling.

Osso Bucco
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine (Issue 40)
Serves 6

• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 brown onions, sliced thickly
• 4 cloves garlic (or 3 large)
• 6 x 200g osso bucco (veal shin)
• ¾ cup dry red wine
• 1 cup beef stock
• 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
• 1 cup water
• 4 bay leaves
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• Sea salt and black pepper
• 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large metal baking dish over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pan.
2. Add the remaining oil and increase the heat. Cook veal for 3-4 minutes each side until well browned. Watch out because it may stick.
3. Add the onion and garlic back to the pan and gradually add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes or until reduced by half.
4. Add stock, tomatoes, water, bay leaves, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours.
5. Carefully remove from the oven, add the beans and stir. Place back in the oven for 15-30 minutes, or until veal is tender. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or risotto if desired.

20 Comments on “Comfort Food”

  1. Mark, this is definitely one to put on the list of things to try. The veal gets so amazingly tender, its wonderful. I hope it actually gets cold enough in the Philippines for you to fully enjoy it!

  2. Hi Lisa – this looks amazing. Everything you make looks amazing; I always look forward to your perfect culinary creations.
    On my blog I gave you an award. Please don’t feel you have to participate, it’s more of an admiration thing than a tag–from one foodie to another.

  3. Glad to see Osso Bucco is out there and gaining favor…it is the most divine winter dish around! Love your recipe tweaks…I serve mine with a fresh Gremolata…YUM. (Love your ice-cream recipes too!)

  4. Dawn, thank you so much for passing the award my way, and thank you for your lovely comment. I will definitely participate with my next post 🙂

    Tenina, yes I agree, its the most perfect winter dish. It was the first time I made it but it definitely won’t be the last. I also make a nice pasta sauce with veal shanks but I’m still tweaking that recipe. I like the gremolata idea too, I will have to try it one day!

  5. I love osso bucco! It’s supposed to be summer where I live; however, I think the high today was only 65 degrees F. Instead of iced tea, we’re drinking hot tea! Love your recipe. I’ve not seen it made with the beans before, but since I love those white beauties, I’ll have to give i a try!

  6. Paula, it’s only slightly warmer where you are than here in Sydney winter! I really enjoyed the osso bucco, especially with the white beans thrown in. I’m sure if you added another can you could forgo any accompaniment if you wanted to!

    Eatingclub, thank you! I don’t have an Italian Nonna either, unfortunately. Though I’m half convinced I’ll be like one in the future 😛

  7. Its hard to imagine that its cold over there when its scorching hot summer here in Cali. I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! Your photos are so wonderful and each entry is so fun! I tagged you on my blog so I will be stopping by frequently~!

  8. Y, I’m very much the same. These days, all I want to do is bake!

    Tartelette, thanks! mmm it is delicious 🙂

    Lina, thank you so much, I’m glad you stopped by! I can’t wait til summer, I’m so sick of wearing layers. Plus, I crave raspberries…

  9. This is a favourite of mine & it looks divine! Great for the cooler weather which will be just around he corner for us…

  10. Marilyn, I can’t wait to try osso bucco with risotto, I bet its delicious.

    recipes2share, this is definitely a great winter dish, I hope you enjoy it soon! I personally can’t wait for winter to leave us alone!

    Barbara, thank you!

    Amritac, haha thanks. Don’t drool on the keyboard!

  11. So often I see a recipe on a blog that looks totally amazing and see that the source is Donna Hay. This is no exception. It looks delicious!

  12. Lisa, I love Donna Hay too, she’s such an inspiration. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Christie, haha thank you 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *