The Florentine osso buco is a typical dish of Tuscany that our grandmothers, with their aprons and floured hands, used to prepare on Sunday for the whole family.
The name comes from the cut of beef used to prepare this delicacy: called “hock“, it is characterised by the presence of the pierced bone. And in the middle is the marrow: the key ingredient which, melting, releases the flavour.
Created in the trattorie in the centre of Florence, the Tuscan recipe has nothing to envy to the Milanese one, although the latter is older and – probably – better known. What makes it really special is its tenderness, due to both the type of meat and the method of cooking.
Therefore, it is a delicious second course which, when accompanied by mashed potatoes or stewed green beans (this is Grandma Maria’s favourite), becomes a complete meal. A tasty and genuine meal.
The recipe of the Florentine osso buco
Ingredients (for 4 people): 4 veal shanks sliced about 4 cm high (approximately 300 g each), 1 small onion, bay leaves (or sage), 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, flour, 1 glass of white wine, 400 g of peeled tomatoes (or 2 tablespoons of tomato conserve dissolved in two cups of broth), salt and pepper.
Procedure: firstly make incisions in the outer skin of the shanks and then beat them gently. Secondly, put the shanks, lightly floured, in a large pan with the olive oil, the thinly sliced onion and a few bay leaves (or sage). And brown them slowly, turning them so that they become well coloured. After that, add the white wine, allowing it to evaporate, the peeled tomatoes (or tomato conserve) and finally the salt and pepper. In conclusion, cook on low heat, with the lid on, for about 40 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and a nice thick sauce has formed. The veal shanks should be very soft.
Tip: ask your butcher for the hind shanks, as they are more tender and have more marrow than the front ones.
Variation: the recipe can also be prepared without tomatoes: in this case, it is advisable to cook the veal shanks with the stock.
Pairing: the Florentine osso buco goes perfectly with a glass of our Chianti DOCG.
P.S. Bread-dipping is compulsory, obviously with Tuscan bread, which is without salt.