Ossobuco Alla Milanese: A Classic Italian Braised Veal Shank Dish

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Osso buco translates to “bone with a hole” in Italian, and this hearty dish is exactly that – tender veal shanks braised in a rich tomato and white wine sauce. It’s a classic for a reason: the combination of melt-in-your-mouth meat, flavorful vegetables, and creamy gremolata is simply divine. While osso buco may seem intimidating, this recipe breaks it down into simple steps, making it achievable for any home cook.


The Best Osso Buco
The Best Osso Buco

4 veal shanks (about 3-inches thick)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • For the Gremolata:

    1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
    2. Pat the veal shanks dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Sear the veal shanks on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.
    4. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Cook for another minute, allowing the herbs to become fragrant.
    5. Pour in the white wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the alcohol to cook off slightly.
    6. Add the diced tomatoes, beef broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, then return the veal shanks to the pot.
    7. Cover the pot tightly and transfer it to the preheated oven. Braise for 2-2 ½ hours, or until the veal shanks are very tender and falling off the bone.
    8. While the osso buco braises, prepare the gremolata. Combine chopped parsley, lemon zest, and minced garlic in a small bowl.

    Nutritional Facts:

    (Per serving, without gremolata)

    Calories: 520

  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 180mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 45g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    Osso buco is a show-stopping dish that’s sure to impress your guests. It’s perfect for a special occasion or a cozy dinner at home. With its rich flavors and tender meat, it’s a true comfort food classic. Don’t be intimidated by the long braising time – the end result is absolutely worth it!

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I substitute beef shanks for veal shanks?

    Yes, you can substitute beef shanks for veal shanks. Beef shanks have a stronger flavor than veal shanks, so you may want to adjust the cooking time slightly. Be sure to braise the beef shanks until they are very tender and falling off the bone.

    2. What can I serve with osso buco?

    Osso buco is traditionally served with risotto Milanese, a saffron-infused rice dish. Other great options include mashed potatoes, polenta, or simply crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce.

    3. Do I have to use white wine?

    If you don’t have white wine on hand, you can substitute it with chicken broth. However, the white wine adds a nice acidity that helps to balance the richness of the dish.

    4. How can I thicken the osso buco sauce?

    If your sauce is too thin after braising, you can thicken it with a cornstarch slurry. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the simmering sauce and cook for a few minutes, or until thickened to your desired consistency.

    5. Can I make osso buco ahead of time?