Osso Buco is traditionally an Italian dish made with veal shanks. In Japan, veal shank is difficult to find and oxtail is much more popular. This version of Osso Buco features oxtails which are first browned and then braised for 3 1/2-4 hours in Japanese flavorings. The collagen in the oxtails, besides being healthy for skin and bones, releases over time and thickens the sauce naturally.
Oxtail, like short ribs and shank, are tough and fatty, which make them perfect for braising (or stewing) – slow cooking over low heat for an extended period. After cooking the meat is soft, tender and falling off the bone.
Osso Buco pairs well with mashed potatoes or white rice, but to really create a meal worth remembering, I recommend serving it over a nice Risotto. Risotto Milanese goes perfect with it – the saffron, nutmeg and beef tallow used in preparing the risotto complements the beefy oxtails.
Neither Osso Buco or Risotto can be rushed, so plan on spending a few hours in the kitchen to put this dish together. But rest assured, it will be worth the investment in time when you try it,