The recipe for this dish originated in Milan. When it is well prepared, this is one of my favourite Italian dishes, especially when it´s cold outside and you crave some real soul food. It´s a shame that many restaurants use a poor quality cuts of meat to make this dish. What is the correct name? Osso Buco, Ossobuco or Osso Bucco, I have found all 3 used in Italy, however I will stick to Osso Buco, with one c. Adding tomato, I indicated as an option in this recipe, is the way the dish is prepared in Emilia Romagna.
The Milanese Osso Buco definitely does not contain tomatoes. It is important to buy good quality calf shank, which is definitely not cheap. My butcher cuts the pieces to the size I indicate, and I use 1 cut per person. The marrow in the bone is absolutely part of this dish and indispensable for the correct taste, while cooking, try to leave it inside each piece of bone. A topping (gremolata) of fresh parsley, lemon peel and garlic is an essential part of the dish. Traditionally Osso Buco is served with Risotto alla Milanese.
Gremolata is the name of a mixture that comes in lots of varieties, adapted to the taste of the dish it is served with. For example, the lemon zest can be replaced with orange zest to sweeten the gremolata. If you want to add a bit more body to the mixture, consider adding finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.
Capers in the gremolata go well with cooked or smoked salmon. Sometimes chopped mint is added to partially or completely replace the parsley, it goes excellent with lamb for instance, a spoonful of sugar or honey with a mint gremolata gives it even more taste.
For the gremolata for my Osso Buco I used flat parsley, garlic and lemon. I've used curly parsley in the past, and while not authentic, it worked very well.