Osso Buco, a traditional dish from Italy, is a hearty and flavorful meal that has stood the test of time. The name itself translates to “bone with a hole,” referring to the marrow-filled bone at the center of the cut of meat used in the dish.
Traditionally, Osso Buco is made with veal shanks, but beef shanks can also be used. The meat is braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth and is often flavored with herbs such as thyme and bay leaves. The dish originated in the Lombardy region of Italy, but variations can be found throughout the country, particularly in Piedmont, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, and Veneto.
In Piedmont, Osso Buco is typically served with gremolata, a mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley, sprinkled on top of the dish before serving. In Tuscany, the dish is often made with tomatoes and served with risotto. In Emilia-Romagna, Osso Buco is traditionally served with polenta.
One of the critical elements of a great Osso Buco is the quality of the ingredients. The meat should be sourced from a reputable butcher and well-marbled for maximum flavor. The vegetables should be fresh and in season. And, of course, the wine used in the dish should be high quality.
When it comes to pairing wine with Osso Buco, a few varieties work particularly well. One classic choice is a full-bodied red wine from the Lombardy region, such as a Valpolicella or a Barolo. Valpolicella is a wine with a medium-bodied, fruity flavor profile, with notes of cherry and plum and a slight spiciness. On the other hand, Barolo is a wine with a full-bodied, complex flavor profile, with notes of dark fruit, such as black cherry and blackberry, as well as hints of licorice and truffle.
Another great option is a Chianti from Tuscany. Chianti is a wine with a medium-bodied, fruity flavor profile, with notes of red berries, such as cherry and strawberry, and a hint of spice. It pairs well with the tomato-based Osso Buco dishes.
If you’re looking for a white wine to pair with Osso Buco, a dry white wine such as a Gavi or a Vermentino would be a good choice. Gavi is a wine with a medium-bodied, fruity flavor profile, with notes of green apple and lemon and a slight minerality. Vermentino is a medium-bodied, fruity flavor profile, with notes of citrus and peach and a subtle floral aroma.
Ultimately, the best wine to pair with Osso Buco is one that you enjoy and complements the dishes’ flavors. In any case, Osso Buco is a dish best enjoyed with a nice glass of wine, savoring the flavors and the aroma, and enjoying the company of good friends and family.
Making Osso Buco is a labor of love. It requires time and patience, but the result is a rich, comforting, and deeply satisfying dish. It is a dish that has stood the test of time and will continue to be a beloved classic for generations.
As I raise my fork, I can taste the rich, tender meat falling off the bone, the wine and broth mingling with the flavors of the vegetables and herbs. Each bite is a celebration of the history and tradition of this beloved dish. And I can’t help but feel grateful for the simplicity and elegance of a true Osso Buco.