While osso buco is most commonly prepared with veal, the name actually means bone hole and refers to the cut of meat rather than the type of meat. So it’s easy to substitute an economical leg steak of lamb, as I did here. This is slow-braised, meaty goodness at its best. The lamb is fragrant with wine, rosemary, thyme and aromatics, and falling-apart tender. The polenta plays the perfect supporting role in its creamy, comforting glory.
This Lamb Osso Buco recipe is part of the March Seasonal Food Guide.
LAMB OSSO BUCO WITH CREAMY POLENTA
Serves 2 (Scale up accordingly)
1 pound lamb leg steak or similar cut of lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced lengthwise
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt + pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Thoroughly pat dry the lamb steaks. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat three tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. When shimmering, add the lamb steaks and sear, without disturbing, for about five minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Remove steaks and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onions and saute for about two minutes. Add the carrots and celery and saute for about seven minutes more, stirring. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and stir again.
Next, deglaze the pot with the red wine. Add the wine and scrape the bottom with a wood spoon to dislodge any delicious crisped bits on the bottom. Add the chicken stock and stir.
Return the lamb steaks to the pot, nestle the sprigs of rosemary and thyme within, and cover.
Transfer to the oven and cook for about 1.5 hours, until the meat is falling-apart tender. Check on it halfway through, flipping the steaks.
Serve over polenta or risotto. Enjoy with a robust red wine.
1 cup polenta
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt + freshly ground black pepper
In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring constantly. Continue to stir the polenta, pretty much constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Taste the polenta to check for doneness. If it remains undercooked but the stock has been absorbed, add a little more. Once the polenta is cooked, turn off heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top with the Lamb above, or anything you desire. Enjoy!