Image of ossobuco from best Italian Restaurant in Miami.

Secret to the Perfect Osso Buco

Traditional Italian cuisine is much more than just pasta and sauce, contrary to popular belief. In America, we tend to adapt and put our own spin on cuisines from around the world. While it can be a great aspect especially since the United States is a melting pot of cultures, traditional aspects that make a cuisine so special and unique are often lost in our culinary scene. The Italian cuisine is extremely diverse and rich in history and very few Italian restaurants in Miami dare to try and capture its essence. For those adventurous or confident enough in their cooking skills, choosing to try a traditional recipe at home can be more than rewarding. Osso buco (Italian braised veal shanks) is one traditional staple that only a few of the best restaurants dare to serve but can be accomplished at home for those willing to try!

Osso Buco Meaning

Osso buco translates “pierced bone” and the flavor is unmistakable. For those of you unfortunate Italian-lovers that have never experienced the wonderfully unique flavor of osso buco, the time has come for you to make it yourself. The braise itself is nothing to write home about considering the ingredients aren’t special but the cross cut shanks reveal the bone marrow that makes the dish. The rich, powerful yet not overwhelming flavor of the marrow that is mingled with the braise is only half of the special equation. The secret to making osso buco lies in the gremolata ( a mixture of fresh lemon zest, parsley, and garlic) that is added near the end and adds a fresh, sharp kick of complimenting the flavor. These two aspects are the reasons why osso buco is a traditional favorite.

Keys to Preparing Osso Buco

Meat

Some recipes may call for large portions of the protein but this should be shied away from. While it may look impressive, large portions of veal come with some drawbacks such as longer cooking time and too much food for one person to finish. First, osso buco has a long-required cooking time, to begin with but when you increase the size of portions it takes even longer for the heat to penetrate to the center of the meat. While this may not seem like a big deal but for the veal to turn out as tender as possible (throughout) the internal temperature must reach a certain level. With big portions, the outer meat may end up being overlooked in the pursuit of reaching the desired internal temperature. Lastly (and far less important), when you choose large shanks and some guests may choose to split it up, who gets the treasured bone with marrow? In cooking, it is always important to remember that quality always trumps quantity (unless you’re feeding a football team).

Broth

Once the proper shanks have been selected, the next important piece of the osso buco puzzle is creating the perfect broth. Since the shanks will be dredged in flour and browned in oil, most forget to take this into account when adding the shanks to the broth. A light flour dredge of the shanks is key to keeping the broth thin and unmuted. Don’t worry, the vegetables are the solution to thickening up the broth, given that they are prepared in small enough pieces. Once the vegetables begin to soften and turn golden brown, a secret addition that you may choose to add in is tomatoes (flesh only). Use caution because a tomato-heavy osso buco is a common mistake that overpowers the unique flavor. Next, the obvious choice may seem to be adding beef stock (since veal is beef) but unless you have a collection of homemade stock, the best choice for flavor is to use chicken stock. The final important step is adding the gremolata during the last 15 minutes while it is in the oven.

Ta-da! You have just created the perfect osso buco meal that will impress even the most seasoned Italian diners. However, the process may seem overwhelming or daunting to those that are less adventurous in the kitchen, so Via Verdi is your best bet for experiencing the best Italian restaurant in Miami. From gnocchi to pomodori, Via Verdi is committed to serving up traditional, authentic Italian cuisine to so that diners can experience a meal the way Italians do. Visit https://viaverdimiami.com/restaurant-menu-miami/ to check out their full menu.

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