This classic braise is great comfort food during winter. Two of the tastiest osso bucos are this one, with tomatoes, or one without tomatoes, adding instead a couple of cups of stock. I prefer chicken stock to veal stock because it's not too heavy with these meaty braises. All this dish needs is a glass of good red, a green salad and some crusty bread to transport you to culinary heaven.
2kg veal osso buco, cut into 3cm-thick slices
plain flour, for dusting
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
170ml cabernet merlot
2 tins peeled chopped tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
For the potato puree
600g large waxy potatoes, such as Desiree, peeled and quartered
70ml pouring cream
50g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
sea salt and white pepper
1. Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
2. Lightly coat the veal pieces with flour. Warm the olive oil in a flame-proof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the veal pieces and sear until golden on all sides, then set them aside on a plate. Reduce the heat, add the onion, carrot and celery to the casserole dish with a pinch of salt and saute for a few minutes, until the vegetables start to colour.
3. Deglaze the dish with the wine, scraping the base with a wooden spoon, then simmer for 1 minute.
4. Return the veal to the casserole and add the tomato, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then place a sheet of baking paper directly on top of the liquid to help retain moisture during cooking.
5. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 3½ hours, turning the veal halfway through. By the end, the meat should be falling off the bone.
6. Remove from the oven, add a grind of black pepper, check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
7. To make the potato puree, place the potato pieces in a large saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook until tender.
8. Meanwhile, combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and keep warm.
9. Drain the potato pieces and pass them through a food mill or a sieve, then return the potato to the warm pan. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the hot milk mixture into the potato. Add the butter, a cube at a time, stirring into the potato until well combined. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
10. Divide the veal pieces among four plates and spoon the sauce over them. Serve with the potato puree.
If you like this recipe try Jill Dupleix's stock-based osso buco, too.