Osso Buco is a classic Milanese dish made with veal shanks braised in tomatoes and wine. It is lovely to serve for a small dinner party. I am making this for my brother-in-law Ron’s birthday. I will serve it with Risotto Milanese or Orzo Pasta with Mascarpone and Parmesan, and Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Glaze. The Osso Buco takes a little time to plan and cook but – oh, so worth it! Finish the dish like an Italian pro with Gremolata – a simple garnish of fresh lemon zest, minced garlic and parsley. There are many ways to make it, but this recipe is my favorite.
Watch the video to learn how to braise and make a great Osso Buco. Get the recipes for Orzo Pasta with Mascarpone and Parmesan, and Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Glaze to make this a complete and fantastic meal.
Outstanding Osso Buco
- 6 1 lb each veal shanks, bone-in, tied with butcher’s string around the middle to hold while braising.
- Kosher salt & fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 3 Thyme sprigs
- 1 TB minced rosemary fresh or dried
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup cognac optional
- 1 cup white wine
- 3-4 cups veal stock or chicken stock
- 24 oz. can peeled diced tomatoes
- ½ cup minced flat leaf parsley
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 TB fresh lemon zest one whole lemon
Preheat oven to 350F.
Liberally salt & pepper the veal. Dredge each veal shank in flour on all sides.
On the stove, heat olive oil over high heat in a Dutch oven or braiser pot large enough to hold all the shanks in a single layer. (note: I also added the cut-off bones that the butcher gave me for extra flavor and thickening). Brown the veal in batches if necessary. Be sure to brown all sides until you get a golden brown caramelization on the meat. This helps the flavor for the braising liquid. Set veal aside.
Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) to the hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, and add the tomato paste and garlic in the center and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix all together and cook for another 5 minutes. The tomato paste will start to deglaze the pan. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon to grab all the flavor for the braising liquid.
Add the wine (and cognac if you are using it) to the pan to finish the deglazing. Let reduce for 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf.
Put the veal shanks back in the pan and add the stock and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
Put the lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Check the meat after 1 ½ hours and add more stock if necessary.
When the meat is done, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Right before serving, make the gremolata by mixing together the fresh minced flat leaf parsley, minced garlic and the lemon zest.
To plate, remove the butcher’s string from the veal shank, and place one piece of veal per person on the plate. Ladle the sauce over the veal, and top with some fresh gremolata.
A classic accompaniment to Osso Buco is Orzo pasta and roasted carrots. See my recipes for Orzo Pasta with Mascarpone and Parmesan, and Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Glaze.