This is truly one of my signature dishes. Adopted from an Osso Bucco recipe it’s basically a tomato based stew with shanks and any veggies. This can be made entirely from vanuatu sourced ingredients but canned stuff will do in a pinch.
– Beef shanks (I prefer the larger ones not the ones sold as osso Bucco, to maximise bone marrow)
– can or bag full of tomatoes
– tablespoon of tomato paste
– 1-2 cups of broth or bullion
– salt & pepper
– any veggies
I cook it in my pressure cooker but slow cooker or any pot might do, just check the timing.
Optional but highly recommended for flavour – roll your shanks in a mix of flour, salt and pepper and brown them in a bit of oil in a pan or in your cooker beforehands. The browning adds the umami flavour component that is impossible to achieve through other means. But it tastes great without it also or browsing without the flour coating. Experiment and see what you like best.
While meat is browning I crush some garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle with some salt and pepper and add to the meat.
Then add the broth and all other ingredients once the meat has browned a little. I also like to add some red wine and some vinegar but not listing it in the ingredients as I am not sure it’s even needed, it’s just something I think goes with the dish or I might have read in other recipes.
For veggies I like to use pumpkin and kumala but also throw in island cabbage sometimes and I think any veggie will do. The starchy ones are preferable for the final step.
Lock the lid if using a pressure cooker and cook it for 30 minutes once it reaches pressure. For other cookers check timing for Osso Bucco online.
Once done I laddle a generous portion into a bowl. The meat should be well off the bone by then and vegetables falling apart at the touch. Make sure to serve the bone also for the bone marrow which is a source of many nutrients. I then gently mash the vegetables with the fork creating a flavoursome saucy mash with meat in it. You can also serve it over rice or pasta but I prefer the pure richness of the mashed starchy vegetables.