Cold, wintry Sundays mean one thing in this house: a big slow-cooking session, fuelled with red wine. On last night’s menu was sticky, rich osso buco – this is my take on the classic, flavoured with white wine and rosemary, and scattered with a zesty gremolata to finish. You can add more tomatoes, less garlic, no chilli, whatever you like really. After all, that’s the beauty of slow cooking: it’s bold, bountiful and utterly forgiving. Dig in.
1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
1 cup (150g) plain flour
Salt, pepper and dried rosemary
4 pieces osso buco
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
6 parsley stalks, stems chopped, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 rosemary stalks, leaves picked
400g can whole tomatoes
750ml bottle dry white wine (I use chardonnay)
1 lemon, zest finely grated
Pasta, polenta or risotto, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat.
Spread the flour on a plate, then season with salt, pepper and dried rosemary. One at a time, press the osso buco into the flour, turning to coat on both sides. In batches, brown the osso buco for 3-4 minutes each side. Set osso buco aside in a shallow baking dish. If the oil has become a bit dirty and burnt, tip it out and add another slosh of olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add garlic, parsley stems, rosemary leaves and chilli flakes, then stir for a further 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Season well with salt and pepper. Add tinned tomatoes and wine, then increase heat and bring to the boil.
Carefully pour the hot sauce over the osso buco, trying to cover the meat entirely. Cover the dish with baking paper, then bake for 2.5-3 hours, turning the osso buco once or twice, until the osso buco is tender. Remove the foil for the final 30 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
Meanwhile, to make the gremolata, mix the chopped parsley leaves with the grated lemon zest.
Once the osso buco is falling off the bone at the slightest nudge of a knife, serve with pappardelle, polenta or risotto Milanese, scattered with gremolata.