Steal This Recipe® Osso Buco

January 08, 2014

Braised veal shank with saffron couscous and escarole. From Chef Jimmy Bradley of The Red Cat, NYC.

‘Stolen with permission’ from Chef Jimmy Bradley of The Red Cat in New York City is a delicious braised veal shank recipe. Osso buco, a traditional dish from Italy, has been translated to mean "bone hole" or "pierced bone”. As you can probably guess, the bone marrow is an important part of this dish. Skip it and you won't get the flavor or the richness that this dish is known for.

About the chef: In 1999, Jimmy Bradley opened a restaurant called The Red Cat in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. The restaurant is defined by a deceptively simple approach and by Bradley's menu. A native New England, he took his lead from the places to which he had always gravitated himself. "No matter where I've lived, worked or traveled, there's always been a special restaurant, a can-do joint that's all things to all people," says Bradley. "They're gathering places where you can drop in for a drink or a meal at the bar, or sit down in a dining room where you can gather with friends to end the day or start the evening”.

In October 2001, Bradley launched The Harrison, a sister restaurant to The Red Cat, with a slightly more traditional vibe, in Tribeca. Although each project is unique, collectively they reflect Bradley's innate sense of hospitality, menu design and creativity.

After attending the University of Rhode Island, Bradley worked in some of Philadelphia and Rhode Island's top kitchens before becoming executive chef of Savoir Fare, a Martha's Vineyard bistro where he began his trademark style of boldly flavored seasonal food. He made the most of his winter sabbaticals away from the restaurant, broadening his culinary skills and visiting his family's Piedmont winery to learn about viticulture and experience Italy's regional cooking.

Jimmy's cookbook, The Red Cat Cookbook, was published in 2006.

The Red Cat
227 Tenth Avenue
New York, New York 10011
212 242 1122

Osso Buco with Saffron Couscous and Escarole is served at The Red Cat for $28.

This recipe is for a restaurant serving size of four.

Osso Buco with Saffron Couscous and Escarole Ingredients:
4 osso buco, 12 to 16 ounces each, tied around the equator with kitchen twine
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, 1 chopped and 1 sliced
1 beefsteak tomato, coarsely chopped
6 sprigs thyme
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups white chicken stock or low-sodium, store bought chicken broth
3 cups veal stock or low sodium, store bought beef broth
1 large head escarole, trimmed to the pale green portion and quartered
2 tsp saffron threads
2 cups Israeli couscous
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sliced parsley

Steal This Recipe® Step-by-Step Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Season the osso buco with salt and pepper.
Dredge in flour, and set aside on a plate.
Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.
Add the osso buco and brown on all sides, approximately 7 minutes per side (don't be shy—let them develop a nice dark crust).
Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Pour off all but about 1/4 cup of fat from the pot.
Add the carrot, onion, celery, and chopped garlic to the pot and cook until lightly browned.
Add the tomato, thyme, wine, chicken stock, and veal stock, and bring to a boil.
Return the osso buco to the pot and bring the liquid to a simmer.
Cover the pot and transfer to the oven.
Braise until the meat is fork tender and pulls away from the bone with the tug of a fork, approximately 2 hours.
As the meat braises, periodically check on it to be sure the liquid isn't boiling aggressively; it should be at the mildest of simmers - if it's bubbling violently, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees; if it isn't bubbling at all, raise it by 25.
During the final 10 minutes of the osso buco's cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan.
Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the escarole and cook until wilted, approximately 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil.
Add the saffron and couscous to the salted water and cook until al dente, approximately 5 minutes.
Drain and add to the pan with the escarole.
Stir in the cheese and butter, set aside.
Transfer the osso buco to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a pot.
Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced and nicely thickened, 5 to 10 minutes, skimming off any fat with a spoon.
Put one osso buco on each of four dinner plates.
Spoon some couscous and one piece of escarole alongside on the plate.
Drizzle plate with the reduced braising liquid.
Garnish with some parsley and serve.