Osso Buco: A Timeless Italian Delight

Nov 8, 2023 | Main Courses


Prep Time

Cooking Time

20 minutes
2 to 2 ½ hours

Osso Buco: A Timeless Delight

Osso Buco, a dish beloved by many, holds a special place in my heart. Its humble origins trace back to the beautiful region of Lombardy in Northern Italy. Legend has it that this dish was born out of necessity during a harsh winter, when resources were scarce but creativity was abundant. The locals found a way to transform tough veal shanks into a tender and flavorsome masterpiece. This tale serves as a reminder that extraordinary things can arise from the simplest of ingredients.

Osso Buco Image


  • 4 veal shanks, about 1 1/2 inches thick, tied with butcher’s twine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Gremolata (optional):
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (162°C). This gentle heat will work wonders in transforming the veal shanks into tender morsels of joy.
  2. Season the veal shanks generously with salt and pepper. Take your time to ensure the flavors are well-distributed onto the meat. Dredge both sides of each shank in the all-purpose flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the veal shanks and brown them evenly on all sides. This step not only adds rich color but also enhances the flavor. Set the browned shanks aside.
  4. In the same pot, add the diced carrot, celery, onion, and minced garlic. Sauté them gently over medium heat until they soften and release their aromatic fragrance. This process, known as sweating, helps build a solid foundation of flavors.
  5. Pour the dry white wine into the pot, scraping the bottom to deglaze and unleash all those enticing bits that will elevate your osso buco to new heights. Allow the wine to simmer for a few minutes until it reduces slightly.
  6. Add the beef or vegetable broth, bay leaf, fresh thyme sprigs, and lemon zest to the pot. Stir everything together, bringing the liquid to a gentle simmer.
  7. Place the veal shanks back into the pot, submerging them partially in the liquid. Ensure the shanks are nestled comfortably, as they will soon undergo their transformative cooking journey.
  8. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the preheated oven. Let the osso buco braise for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. During this time, the shanks will tenderize, absorbing all the aromatic goodness surrounding them.
  9. Optional: While the osso buco is cooking, prepare the gremolata by combining the finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl. This zesty condiment adds a burst of freshness that perfectly complements the richness of the dish.
  10. Once the cooking time is up, remove the pot from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Carefully transfer the veal shanks to a platter, removing the butcher’s twine.
  11. To serve, spoon the rich, flavorful braising liquid over the shanks, and sprinkle them with the gremolata, if desired. The osso buco pairs beautifully with risotto Milanese, polenta, or mashed potatoes.

Osso Buco Image

Tips and Variations:

  • For a deeper flavor profile, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the pot while sautéing the vegetables.
  • If veal shanks are not available, you can substitute with beef or pork shanks, but be prepared for slightly different flavors and cooking times.
  • To save time when preparing osso buco, you can brown the shanks ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to braise.
  • Leftovers make a wonderful ragout when shredded and served over pasta or crusty bread.

There you have it, my dear readers—the recipe for osso buco, a dish that gracefully embodies the concept of turning simplicity into something exquisite. Invite your loved ones to indulge in this timeless delight and revel in the flavors that tell a story of tradition, resourcefulness, and culinary artistry. Enjoy!

Ingredients Image

Main Courses > Osso Buco: A Timeless Italian Delight

Share Your Results! 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Was this article helpful?

Find more recipes on Main Courses

Join a community of over 6 People

Find Your Favorite Recipes