BeefCuisineCurriesItalianMainsMeatQuick & Easy

Osso Buco

1 hr 30 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 10

Fast Food Center! Osso Buco is a traditional Italian dish of tender veal shank marinated in a tomato-based white wine sauce that is as hearty as it is luxurious, thanks to the delicate flavor and texture of the veal.

Traditionally served with a yellow saffron Milanese risotto topped with a fresh mixture of parsley, lemon and garlic known as Gremolata. But just as delicious stacked on mashed potatoes! It’s a slow-cooked recipe that sits alongside famous dishes like Shredded Beef Stew and Guinness Beef Stew.

NomNom Recipes 11
Osso Buco – NomNomWow

Osso Buco

“You never gave me Osso Buco!!” I badgered my butcher. (“Never” is a bit of a stretch, but decorations get out of me sometimes in desperate times.)

“Osso Buco flies out the door in winter,” my butcher says.
“We don’t have enough. You have to order it, or come when we get it.”

So unlucky to eat, she immediately ordered an Osso Buco. Because I shared it with you all winter. But I filled it in – first with photos, then a video, and finally, after attempt #3, I have everything I need to finally post it!

What is Osso Buco?

Osso Buco is a veal shank cut into thick slices and slowly cooked in a tomato sauce. Fellow Aussies may have seen “Osso Buco” beef sold in supermarkets – in fact, beef is more common than veal. At least in winter.

If Osso Buco is traditionally made with veal, it is also excellent with beef. The meat will be more intense because the veal has a finer and sweeter flavor.
But it’ll still be great – and you’ll still have that signature chewy chewiness that many like to sip or slap on crusty bread. (Not me, don’t do it for me, I always give mine!)

A traditional Italian dish

Making Osso Buco is no different than most slow cooked Italian masterpieces – the meat is browned, then simmered with onion, garlic, carrots and celery, which form then the tasty base of a tomato sauce. Osso Buco’s sauce is a bit thinner than other slow-cooked Italian specialties like ragu because it’s made with white wine rather than red.

One small annoyance I have is that when the veal is cooked to “fall apart”, it literally falls off the bone. Still tasty, but I want the meat to stay on the bone for presentation.

So I throw in the towel and hold the calf with string.
One tip I have, however, is to do this after the meat is browned. Otherwise, the twine will come loose when the meat browns. It’s really annoying.

Then let it bubble away gently for 1.5 – 2 hours (veal is more delicate than beef so you won’t need to cook for longer than this) until the meat is fork tender.

And I truly do mean – fork tender.

But – enough about the tender, slow-cooked, chunky veal in a thick, tangy tomato sauce! Stop saying you don’t need a knife to eat. The weekend is here! It’s Friday, call me from the couch and next to me is a giant hairball that stinks of dog staring at me because “leg time” is 30 minutes late.

Osso Buco

Osso Buco

Fast Food Center! Osso Buco is a traditional Italian dish of tender veal shank marinated in a tomato-based white wine sauce that is as hearty as it is luxurious, thanks to the delicate flavor and texture of the veal.
prep time
15 mins
cooking time
1 hr 30 mins
total time
1 hr 15 mins



  • 5 thick veal osso bucco (300 g / 10 oz each, 2.5cm / 1” thick) (or beef, Note 1)

  • Salt and pepper

  • Kitchen string (optional)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small onion , finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves , minced

  • 1 small carrot , finely chopped

  • 1 celery stick , finely chopped

  • 800 g / 28 oz can crushed tomato

  • 1 cup / 250 ml dry white wine (not sweet, not fruity), or chicken broth

  • 1 cup / 250 ml chicken broth

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (optional, or use beef)

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 sprigs thyme or 1 ½ tsp dried thyme

  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1 cup parsley leaves (flat or curly), lightly packed

  • 2 – 3 tsp lemon zest , finely grated

  • 1 garlic clove , minced


  • Risotto Milanese (saffron risotto, recipe in notes), mashed potato or pasta


Generously sprinkle the veal with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown it on both sides to get a nice brown crust. Remove to a plate and reduce the heat to medium-low.
If the pan seems dry, add a little oil.
Add the garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute, then add the carrots and celery. Cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until tender and sweet.
OPTIONAL: Meanwhile, tie kitchen twine around each piece of veal - hold them together for a nice presentation (will fall apart when simmered).
Add the tomato, wine, sauce, bouillon cubes (crushed), tomato puree, thyme and bay leaf. Mix, then return the veal to the pot and cover.
Adjust the heat so the liquid is simmering - about medium-low. Cook until tender enough to separate with a fork - check after 1.5 hours and every 15 minutes thereafter.
place veal in bowls with slotted spoon and cover to keep warm. Simmer the liquid over medium heat for 5 to 15 minutes or until thickened.
Adjust salt and pepper at the end.


It is traditionally served with saffron risotto (Milanese risotto, recipe in notes), but is also delicious with mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or even pasta. Place a slice of Osso Buco on a plate, drizzle with sauce and garnish with Gremolata.


Place the parsley leaves on a cutting board. Top with garlic and lemon zest. Finely chop the parsley. Transfer to serving bowl and set aside for at least 20 minutes before use.


Osso Buco are thick steaks cut from veal shanks. The thicker, the better, as if they are too thin, they will cook to “fall apart” too quickly without developing enough flavour. This recipe can also be made with beef but note that beef flavour is stronger than veal. Veal has the some red colour as beef but it has a more delicate flavour. Osso Buco is traditionally served with saffron rissoto, Risotto Milanese. Here’s how to make it: If using saffron threads (expensive!), place 2 pinches in a bowl and add 2 tbsp hot water, set aside for 15 minutes. Or, use ¼ tsp Saffron powder. Add the Saffron when you add the broth following this Chicken and Mushroom Risotto recipe, but skip the chicken and mushrooms. Nutrition per serving, Osso Buco only. I was unable to find a reliable nutrition information for veal shanks (because of the bone, I think) so I used 1 kg / 2 lb of beef chuck which I think is a fair substitution, possibly even more conservative from a fat perspective.
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