Osso buco is a classic dish, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to old-fashioned methods for preparing it. While veal shanks usually require a long, slow braise to become tender, using a pressure cooker significantly reduces the cooking time. The meat is browned in the cooker, vegetables are added, then white wine, beef broth, and tomatoes are stirred in to make a savory, beefy sauce for the veal to cook in. In 30 minutes, the meat will be falling off the bone and you’ll have a rich sauce. Serve it all over egg noodles or mashed potatoes, topped with vibrant gremolata (a parsley, lemon zest, and garlic mixture) to cut through the fatty meat.
What to buy: Ask your butcher for crosscut veal shank pieces from the meatier, wider end of the shank.
Game plan: Though the CHOW Test Kitchen prefers a stovetop pressure cooker, this recipe can also be made in an electric model. Use the brown setting for steps 3 through 5, then proceed with high-pressure cooking.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 45 mins
For the osso buco:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 (1-1/2-inch thick) veal shank pieces (about 3 pounds)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 medium celery stalk, small dice
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
For the gremolata:
- 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the osso buco:
- Place the flour in a large baking dish, season generously with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine.
- Pat the veal shanks dry with paper towels and season on all sides with the measured salt and pepper. Place the shanks in the flour mixture and turn to coat all sides. Discard any remaining flour.
- Heat the oil in a 6-quart stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat until shimmering. Add 2 of the shanks and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides including the edges, about 7 minutes. Remove to a large plate and repeat with the remaining 2 shanks.
- Increase the stovetop heat to medium high, add the garlic, carrot, celery, onion, and tomato paste, season with salt and pepper, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste is no longer raw-tasting, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pressure cooker, until the liquid thickens and reduces by about three-quarters, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, and bay leaves and stir to combine.
- Return the shanks and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pressure cooker, turn to coat the shanks in the liquid, and arrange them in an even layer (it’s OK if the shanks overlap a little). Lock the lid in place and bring the cooker to high pressure over high heat. Reduce the stovetop heat to medium and cook the shanks for 30 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a visible, steady stream of escaping steam. Remove the pressure cooker from the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gremolata.
For the gremolata:
- Place the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Rub the mixture between your fingers to combine the ingredients, releasing the oils from the lemon zest to coat the parsley and garlic, about 1 minute; set aside.
- Carefully quick-release any pressure left in the pressure cooker, then remove the lid (keep your face away from the escaping steam).
- Transfer the shanks to a large, shallow serving dish and pour the sauce over them. Sprinkle with all of the gremolata and serve immediately.