Osso Bucco

osso bucco
This classic Italian dish is a great lesson in braising, and a perfect technique to use for cooking tougher cuts of meat. Osso bucco is made from veal shank, which is the upper portion of the hind and forelegs. These sections of muscle naturally get a lot of movement, which makes them tough. (Compare it to the “tender” loin which runs along the spine and gets hardly any movement.)

The slow, moist heat softens the connective tissues in tough muscles, and they melt away. Hot, dry cooking methods, like grilling, will only tighten the ligaments and tendons and toughen the entire muscle.

If you have a soft spot in your heart for the baby cow, you can make this recipe with beef shanks. I also like to use this technique with lamb shanks, although I usually use red wine instead of white.


4-6 (8-12 oz.) veal shanks
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 TB. flour
2 cups white wine
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

4 cloves garlic
3 anchovy filets
Zest of 1 lemon
[1/4] cup flat leaf parsley
[1/4] tsp. kosher salt


  1. In a large sauté pan cook the shanks in olive oil over high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer to roasting pan.
  2. In the same sauté pan brown the onions, carrots celery and garlic. Add the flour and stir until all the fat is absorbed. Slowly whisk in the wine, tomatoes and stock. Pour over the shanks, and top with rosemary and bay. Cover and bake at 325˚F for about 2 hours, until meat falls off the bone. Remove rosemary and bay, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce sauce if necessary.
  3. Combine gremolata ingredients on a cutting board and mince them together until very fine. Serve 2-3 pieces of veal shank in a shallow bowl. Cover with sauce, sprinkle with gremolata and serve with crusty bread over creamy polenta, orzo pasta, risotto, or regular rice.


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