Osso Buco, aka What I’m Making for the Game of Thrones Opener


Osso Buco Meal

Ok. You guys. The Game of Thrones final season starts April 14th. Every year, we throw a GOT premier party (nerd alert!) with a meat-centered meal. In fact, here’s my post from 4 years ago for the fourth season premiere. The GOT premier meals are big production and a lot of fun, but a lot of work. This year, being a mom to a 5 month-old, I’m setting out to make it easy(ish).

First off, I will say that the reason this is easy(ish) is that the recipe for osso buco is in no way mine. Rather, I used a recipe hack by leveraging a Williams Sonoma braising sauce. I added my own side elements, threw together a surprise appetizer that takes almost no extra effort, and pulled together an entire meal. This recipe, therefore, is for the full meal pictured below. This meal that goes great with friends, an epic show, and an entryway light that plays the GOT theme song (see, NERD ALERT!!).

Let’s get a’ meating!

Special tool needed: either a cast-iron pot like Staub or Le Creuset OR a pressure cooker

Canola or vegetable oil
2 large beef osso buco beef shanks bone in*
Williams Sonoma Osso Buco braising sauce
1 cup polenta
More butter
16 oz pre-sliced mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 shallot, sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Toasted bread for bone marrow

* Traditional osso buco calls for veal shanks, but I prefer beef as it’s larger and you’ll get the bone marrow appetizer if you use beef

Makes enough for 5 friends, including you

Osso Buco Directions:

Preheat oven (if cooking in a cast iron pot) to 375 degrees. Following the instructions on the WS braising sauce, in a large cast iron pot (or pan, if pressure cooking), add 2tbs of canola or vegetable oil on medium high. When oil is shimmering, sear all sides of the osso buco until browned and a little crispy. In the cast iron or pressure cooker, put meat on bottom, then add in WS braising sauce and 2 cups water. The WS instructions don’t say to add water, but I found that the sauce was too cooked-down and a little dry by the end without added water. If using a pressure cooker, cook six hours. If cooking in a cast iron, cook for 2-3 hours, reducing to 200 degrees for the last 30 minutes. Bam. Osso buco done.

Quick Polenta Directions:

The ratio for polenta is 3 parts water to 1 part polenta to a lot of butter. Some people add Parmesan cheese, which is a perfect idea, but I never have any lying around. Feel free to add if you’re feeling sassy.

Boil 3 cups of water and 2tsp salt. Add 1 cup polenta, reduce heat. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring slowly. Add 2tbs or more of butter and more salt as needed.

Sautéed Vegetables Directions:

In a medium heat pan, add 1tbs olive oil, 1tbs butter. When hot, add mushrooms and stir until dark brown. Add asparagus, shallot and the sliced garlic (not the minced). Sauté for 3 more minutes.

Plate & finish bone marrow

Start with polenta, top with osso buco and lots of sauce. Sautéed vegetables go on the side. Super quickly, in the veggie pan, heat up 1tbs butter, pinch of salt, and minced garlic. Take out the bone from the osso buco- inside is your surprise bone marrow! Slather bread with the butter garlic sauce and top with marrow.

Ta-da! You’ve impressed your friends without spending a ton of effort and time, which leaves you nice and relaxed to watch your favorite (omg, dragons!) show!