CVap Veal Shank Ossobuco

braising Veal Shank for ossocuco

Ossobuco (pronounced os-oh-boo-koh) is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth. It is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with risotto alla Milanese. Ossobuco or osso buco is Italian for “bone with a hole” (osso bone, buco hole). It’s a reference to the marrow hole at the center of the cross-cut veal shank.

Certainly, this classic can be made with pork or lamb shanks. However, we’re going traditional with veal shanks. Truly, this is a perfect dish to make overnight in a CVap® oven. Chill it in the morning. Finally, reheat it for dinner service. Certainly, it’s one of those dishes that benefits from that wonderful mingling of flavors under refrigeration.

Definitely, both the preparation methods shared here can easily be scaled for restaurant service.

Classical Veal Ossobuco in a CVap Oven

For overnight cooking, use the High Yield setting on the CVap Cook and Hold Oven. This turns off the browning elements about 40% of the way through the cook cycle. Settings are 180°F Doneness + 6 Browning for six hours. After the cook cycle, the oven will enter a 150°F Doneness + 0 browning hold mode. Indeed, it’s already done when you arrive the next morning. In fact, the long hold in an overnight cook tenderizes the shank and breaks down its collagen and fibers. Certainly,  that’s a good thing. After all, who wants to chew on a medium-rare shank?

We used a same-day method. In this process, the CVap oven is set for Constant Cook.  During Constant Cook, the browning temperature is engaged for the full roast period. Notably, this reduces yield but speeds up cook time. The CVap oven will still go to a 150°F+0 hold. Critically, it is necessary to hold for at least a few hours after the cook cycle. Ultimately, this helps tenderize the shanks. 

By the way, if you are doing something like prime rib and your doneness is set below 150°F, the CVap will hold at the temperature you set with a 0 Browning. That’s how we can do a perfect rare or medium-rare prime rib overnight, without overcooking.

Ossobuco Recipe

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. veal shank
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 ea cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
mise en place veal osso buco

Ossobuco – The Same-Day Cook Process

  1. Preset unit to Constant Cook 180°F/6/3:00. Allow approximately 30 minutes to preheat.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, and black pepper. Dredge meat in seasoned flour. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Sear the meat. Make sure the sides are browned. It’s no fun holding a round thing with tongs to do the sides, but it’s worth it.
  3. Remove meat from pan, and set aside.
  4. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to drippings in the pan. Cook and stir for about five minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, wine, basil, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Return meat to pan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
  5. Place the contents of the saucepan into a hotel pan or a roasting pan. Make sure that the braising liquid is ¾ of the way up the shanks. Add more beef broth if needed.
  6. Place into the CVap oven and press start. Critically, make sure the timer begins counting down. Go do something else for the next five hours or so. No dipping your bread into the pan after it starts to smell wonderful. Nona will hit you with a wooden spoon or throw a shoe at you (if you’re not Italian, you won’t understand☺).
  7. When you’re ready for service, pull the shanks out and strain the braising liquid. Return shanks and strained liquid to the pan. Place back into the oven, and you’re done. Grab a shank and some sauce. Put it on polenta, rice, or just on a plate. Enjoy!
veal cooking for ossobuco
finito veal ossobuco
saute veggies for ossobuco
veal cooking for ossobuco
veal shanks and broth
veal osso buco
veal shanks in a pan for ossobco

Pro Tip

We like to take an extra step. Puree some of the strained bits. Next, add that to the broth. Finally, reduce it in a saucepan on the stove. Purists may scream foul at this step as it clouds the braising liquid. However, we love the extra flavor it adds. Hold the shanks in the CVap oven while you do this. Whisking in a Beurre Manié (equal parts softened butter and flour) can speed up the process of creating that coat-the-back-of-the-spoon sauce to coat the plated Ossobuco.

Polenta with roasted crimini mushrooms and parmesan is our preferred plate liner.

Notably, we noticed that the shanks shrank away from the bone a lot more with this method vs. the high-yield method. It still tasted wonderful, but overnight might be the better route to enhance the plate presentation and yield.

CVap Saltimbocca, Southern Style!

Savory Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is a dish traditionally made of veal, lined or topped with prosciutto and sage. In addition, it is marinated in wine, oil or saltwater, depending on the region (or one’s own taste). Saltimbocca (Italian: jumps in the mouth) is occasionally topped with capers. This savory dish is popular in southern SwitzerlandItalySpain and Greece)

Although veal and prosciutto are the traditional proteins in this dish, our Saltimbocca features chicken thighs as the primary protein. The Southern spin comes from wrapping the thighs with ham (butchered and cured in the European style). The southern charm was amped up by serving the Saltimbocca over Weisenberger grits mixed with Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese.

saltimbocca yummy

The Process

We boned, skinned, and brined the chicken thighs. After that we wrapped them in the reserved skins and roasted them in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven at 165 + 30 for :30 minutes. The roasted thighs were held in the CVap oven until we were ready for finishing. To finish, we removed the chicken skins, wrapped the thighs with fresh sage leaves, cheddar cheese, and ham. Finally, we pan-seared them to crisp the ham. The finished dish was held until we were ready to plate. As you can see, the thighs remained incredibly juicy, while the ham achieved the exact crisp texture we wanted.

saltimbocca chicken wrapped in ham

Meanwhile, we sautéed sliced cremini mushrooms with chopped onion and garlic, then reduced them with stock and a generous amount of butter.

We mixed the grits with chicken stock and cheddar, covered the pan with foil, and cooked it in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven 200 + 100 for an hour. For plating, the grits were topped with a salad of heirloom tomatoes tossed in a honey-thyme vinaigrette. Gorgeous all by itself!

Finally, we topped the grits and salad with one of the Saltimbocca chicken thighs and a generous ladle of the sautéed mushroom mixture. The finished plate was as delicious as it was beautiful!

cremini 'shrooms for saltimbocca
grits and salad for saltimbocca
finished saltimbocca