When to add herbs in Osso Buco

Joined May 16, 2003
I would like to solicit opinions about when to add the herbs when preparing osso buco. I have a recipe that I got from Michael Lomonaco from his cooking show "Michael's Place" on the FoodTV channel years ago. In the recipe he adds chopped herbs with the veal and stock and then braises it for 1 hr and 45 mins. Many chefs argue that the herbs should be added after the dish is removed from the oven or just a little before. The reasoning is extended cooking 1) blackens the herbs and 2) disseminates their flavor too much.

I have tried it both ways and while adding them near the end certainly adds a "fresh" herb flavor, I have found that cooking them from the beginning still tastes awesome. And I don't care about the color.

Sometimes I do both. Add half at the beginjing and half at the end to get the best of both worlds.

What do you guys think?

Joined Aug 29, 2000
It sounds like you have a good plan: some early, some more later on. I'd do that with any braised meats.
Joined May 9, 2003
I add mine early on as I want the meat to be infused with the flavor. I cool the shanks in the stock, remove the shanks from the gelatinous stock, reduce the stock and adjust the seasoning and then strain through a chinoise.

The flavor contrast between herbs that have been braised is signifgicantly different than that of fresh. For this reason a traditional garnish is Gremolata...a mix of minced raw garlic, lemon zest and parsley. That really brightens up an otherwise heavy dish.
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Sounds like you've tried all the methods, which do you prefer?

You could always add dried versions of the same herbs in the beginning and then fresh at the end.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
If you're speaking of Ossobuco alla Milanese, these are the traditional steps:

1)Frying the "soffritto" (chopped onion, celery and carrot)

2)Browning ossobuchi in the soffritto;

3)Sprinkling with wine, and when evaporated adding salt, pepper, stock and few tomato puree or concentrate (optional)

4)Braising ossobuchi (on the stove) until they're done;

5)Adding Gremolata to Ossobuchi, heating them through for a couple of mins.

Gremolata has to be added at the end just for the reason Chefkell mentioned...adding freshness to the dish. If you like a lighter taste, add the chopped garlic at the beginning to the "soffritto" and finish your ossobuchi only with lemon zest and parsley (this is just what I generally do)

Joined May 16, 2003
Thank you everybody for the feedback.

I was asking because last week at the restaurant I work at I was given the dubious distinction of making family meal. The sous chef instructed me to use the pork shoulder. Knowing that this a tough meat, like shanks, that works well with braising, I simply employed my osso buco recipe, substituting the pork shoulder instead.

When I added the herbs at the beginning, (chopped fresh thyme, parsley & rosemary), the one line cook told me they should be added at the end for the reasons I gave in my original post. However, when it was all done cooking, the sous chef and the same cook who admonished me for my timing of the herbs, both said it tasted excellent.

Go figure.

Joined Mar 12, 2001
Like everything in cooking, there are many ways to do things.
I usually follow the 'hard herbs early, soft herbs late' rule of thumb.
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