Recipe: Bison Osso Buco

Bison Osso Buco
Tom Eckerle

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This recipe appears in Big Sky Cooking by Meredith Brokaw and Ellen Wright, Artisan 2006.

6 or 8 (1-pound) bison shanks (see Selected Sources), or veal or lamb shanks

1 cup seasoned flour (see Note)

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed

2/3 cup white wine

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 sprig fresh rosemary

8 medium garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

This recipe originated at one of the Turner bison ranches. Ted Turner, who is largely responsible for reintroducing buffalo to the prairie, has also played a culinary role by opening specialty restaurants all over the country, restaurants that serve primarily bison, prepared all different ways. A bison shank is a rather large bone that has to be cut up so that it fits into a pan. The meat is lean, has very little fat, and is extremely tender. And the marrow — luscious huge pieces of it — is a delicacy in our household. This is a slow-cooking dish, so you have time to take a hike and do other things while it's in the oven.

Bison shank can be obtained where bison are indigenous and through some mail-order sources. If you can't get bison shank, you can use veal shanks or lamb shanks.

Serves 6 to 8

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Dredge the shanks in the seasoned flour. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shanks and brown on all sides. Transfer them to a large casserole dish.

Add the stock, wine, parsley, sage, rosemary, and garlic to the casserole. Bake for 2 hours. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and bake, basting the shanks occasionally to keep them tender and moist, and adding more stock if necessary, until the meat is tender and falling from the bone,

4 to 6 hours longer.

Note: To make seasoned flour, combine 1 cup quick-mixing flour (such as Wondra) with 1 teaspoon each garlic salt, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, and freshly ground black pepper.

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