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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Veal Osso Buco

I have mistakenly bought veal from the supermarket the other day. When I saw these great looking vacuum sealed osso buco cuts, so pink and looking so fresh, I got too excited and got 2 400g packs. When we got home and unpacking the groceries and putting them into the freezer, I noticed I got veal Osso buco by mistake! Now, I have not in any way eaten veal in the 39 years of my life. And up to that moment, was not sure what exactly is veal. All the while, I thought the veal meat sold in butchers and supermarkets were from the animal deer. I thought venison and veal, in my shallow knowledge of meat, are one and the same. But just as I was mistaken into buying the osso buco as beef, I was also mistaken as to where does “veal” come from. Thanks to the wide world of Google, I now know that veal is the meat of young cattle (calves). As it turns out, veal meat is more tender than most meat products as it comes from the young mostly male calves of dairy cattle breed. Now why didn’t we know that before? We could’ve gone from beef osso buco to veal osso buco in a switch!

On the road to my veal discovery, I found that there have been issues raised on animal welfare on the treatment of dairy cattle for veal meat, where in most farms in the US, Canada and Europe use veal crates to house the cattle. Specifically the use of veal crates – this is when the young cattle is confined to individual framed crates to minimise their movements (which makes for a more tender meat), and less handling. In the US and in Europe, there have been support to ban the use of these of which implementation seems not fast enough in the US, the earliest of which will be 2011. Veal crates have been completely banned in the European Union since 2007. So great news for animal welfare groups. In Australia, veal farms generally rear the cattle in small groups in open pens which abide by a code of practice from the RSPCA.

Like all sauced dishes (stews and casseroles), your appetite for these kinds has not yet matured except for Ate. Ate now eats whatever the grown ups eat, and her palate has somewhat matured in terms of trying on other dishes and cuisines. But I’m hopeful as always, as I know that someday soon, all of you will thirst for a Veal Osso Buco dish and you’ll remember this one Sunday in 2010 when mum made the aromatic veal osso buco with squeals of delight and appreciation from the adults. Even though I lack the proper equipment such as the Dutch French Oven (I’m saving for the proper brand such as La Chassuer along with the red Kitchenaid Stand Mixer) for this kind of dish, it has not stopped my adventurous side from trying to make this simple dish. Instead of using the oven, this was prepared this stove-top style using a huge regular kitchen pot. As usual, the recipe was found online at Best Recipes. Among the thousands of osso buco recipes online, I chose this one because it was the one of the top 5 hits from Google and also because of the ease of preparation. I used the veal osso buco instead of the veal shanks which the recipe called for, and also added a few other vegetables (mushrooms and capsicum). I especially love the gremolata sprinkled on top of the dish when served.


60g butter

4 tbsp olive oil

2 carrots, cubed

3 sticks celery, cubed

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

6 pcs medium sized veal osso buco

1 tbsp tomato paste

800g tin diced tomatoes

2 cups beef stock

1 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 capsicum, cubed


1. Heat 20g butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan.

2. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Pour into a large casserole dish (or if stove top like what we did, pour into a large stove top pot).

4. Place 4 tbsp flour, salt and pepper into a big plastic bag with the veal osso buco and shake to cover well.

5. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees C. (not applicable if using stove top method)

6. Melt remaining butter and oil in same frying pan and brown veal.

7. Lay veal on top of carrot mixture. (or if stove top, simply transfer the browned veal into the pot with the carrot mixture)

8. Pour the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, thyme and bay leaves into the frying pan and bring to the boil.

9. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

10. Pour over veal. Cover and bake for 1 3/4 hours. (for stove top method, cook on medium heat for 1 hour, checking and stirring once in awhile to make sure the mixture is not sticking on the bottom of the pan).

Recipe notes included in the online recipe: To serve you can sprinkle the veal with gremolata. (Grated rind of 2 lemons, 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped and 1/2 cup chopped parsley mixed together.

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