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Another Winter Warmer

Today I had an impromptu day off work, and what is the first thing I thought of when I realised I had a whole day to myself with no other commitments, “What shall I cook for dinner?” of course.  I’ve had some veal osso bucco in the freezer for far longer than it should have been there. There have been many occasions when I wanted to crack it out for dinner, but I just hadn’t found a day when I had three to four hours to spare to prepare it. Not that I have to tend to it for that long, but it does need the occasional stir so the bottom doesn’t burn. Obviously there are many recipes for osso bucco that don’t take half a day to cook, but my all time favourite is a slow cooked pasta sauce.  I love it because it makes pasta feel special and decadent; it makes the best leftovers; it is only really suited to a winters day, so usually only gets cooked about once a year.

I just realised I don’t even have a name for this dish. I guess if I’m going to tell it like it is, it’s slow cooked osso bucco with pappardelle.  That’s the other reason I love this dish so much, anything you serve with pappardelle is a winner in our house, especially if it is drizzled with truffle oil to finish, which this dish totally lends itself to.

Slow Cooked Osso Bucco with Pappardelle

1kg veal osso bucco (about 6 pieces)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, cubed
2 celery sticks finely sliced
2 large garlic cloves
100g streaky bacon, cubed
2 large flat mushrooms, sliced
1 can tomatoes
250ml red wine
3 sprigs rosemary
small handful thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons of plain flour
olive oil

500g papparedelle
truffle oil

To make the sauce:
In a large pan, gently fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in some olive oil until until beginning to soften but not browned. Add the bacon and continue to fry for a few minutes until some of the fat starts to render out.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute until it forms a paste then gradually add the wine until the sauce thickens. Boil off the alcohol for a minute or two then add in the can of tomatoes and half a can of water. Stir, then add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf whole. Finally add in the meat, counting the bones as they are added, ensuring the meat is covered with the liquid. Simmer very gently, with a lid on the pan over a low heat, for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn.

After an hour and a half, add in the mushrooms and stir. Continue to simmer very gently for another hour and a half, or until the meat falls away from the bone and can be broken with the spoon.  Once the veal is cooked, carefully removed the osso bucco from the pan, making sure you remove all of the bones.  This is why I count the bones into the pan, so I can count them all out again. While the meat is cooling slightly, increase the heat under the tomato sauce and reduce slightly to thicken.

Remove the meat from the bone (if it hasn’t already fallen off) and shred. Discard any sinew and gristle. Scrape the bone marrow from the bones and stir into the sauce. Once all the meat is shredded and the sinew has been removed, stir the meat back into the thickened sauce.

Serve the sauce with pappardelle. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with truffle oil.  The perfect, decadent, winter pasta dish.


Comment from Bill
Time July 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

all i can say .. it is awesome

Comment from Colin
Time July 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

YUM,can we have this next time we come,even if its Summer!Still hav’nt found where to buy the Veal here.

Comment from nic
Time July 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Thanks Bill, I like it too!

Colin, I have tried this recipe with beef osso bucco and it tastes just as good. It’s basically beef shin on the bone, try the Preston Market

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