Osso buco is braised veal shanks. The fabulously flavorful veal shanks are cooked for a long time, making the meat so tender that it literally falls off the bones. I’m not sure why, but I think people are afraid of this dish; maybe they’re intimidated by the unfamiliarity of veal shanks. But it’s really easy to prepare and just needs a couple of hours to cook, while the fragrant aromas fill your house and maybe even tempt the neighbors to ring the doorbell to find out what’s cooking. The perfect dish for a rainy Sunday.
Be sure to have kitchen twine available for tying the shanks.
Preheat The Oven to 375 degrees F. Pat the veal dry with paper towels to ensure even browning. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season the veal with 1½ teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Dredge the veal in the flour to coat the cut sides lightly.
In a heavy roasting pan large enough to fit the veal in a single layer, heat the oil over a medium flame until hot. Add the veal and cook until brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a plate and reserve.
In the same pan, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the veal to the pan. Add enough chicken broth to come two thirds of the way up the sides of the veal. Add the herb sprigs, bay leaf, and cloves to the broth mixture. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan with foil and transfer to the oven. Braise until the veal is fork-tender, turning the veal every 30 minutes, about 1½ hours total.
Carefully remove the cooked veal from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut off the twine and discard. Tent the veal with foil to keep warm.
Place a large sieve over a large bowl. Carefully pour the cooking liquid and vegetables into the sieve, pressing on the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and return the sauce to the pan. Gently place the veal back into the strained sauce. Bring just to a simmer. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste. (The osso buco can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Keep covered and rewarm in a 350 degree F oven until the veal is heated through, about 25 minutes.) Place one veal shank on each plate and spoon the sauce over. Garnish with the parsley and serve.