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Beef Osso Buco

serves 2-4

Osso buco is a classic. No matter what kind of shank you're using, the marrow-filled bones give osso buco a meaty unctuousness that's hard to get from other cuts. Wine, tomato puree and tomato paste balance that richness beautifully, and fresh thyme gives the dish a delicious woodsy aroma.


4 thick beef shanks (3-4 pounds)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 1/2 tablespoons for the shanks + 1 1/2 tablespoons for the vegetables)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups tomato purée
2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme


prep: 30 minutes
total: 3 hours


Dutch oven


1. Preheat the oven to 300F and put the rack in the middle position. Season the shanks generously with salt and pepper. Prep the remaining ingredients.

2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the shanks to the pan with space between them. Sear the shanks, pressing the meat to the pan occasionally, until they are very brown, 2-4 minutes. Turn and brown the second side. Remove the shanks to a plate.

3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrot, onion and celery. Sprinkle the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic . Stirring constantly, cook for another minute or so, until the vegetables are soft.

4. Add the tomato paste and stir to caramelize it well, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato purée and white wine to the Dutch oven. Stir and scrape to release the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Nestle the shanks into the liquid, and pour in any juices that accumulated while it rested.

5. Add enough water to come up almost cover the shanks. Cover and roast in the oven, turning 3-4 times until the meat almost falls off the bone, 2-2 1/2 hours. Stir in the thyme 15 minutes before taking the shanks out of the oven.
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