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Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe

Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Braised beef

Ossobuco is one of the signature dishes of Milanese cuisine. Veal shanks are cut cross-ways to reveal the marrow, a cut often just referred to as 'ossobucco'. In Milan ossobucco is typically served with a saffron risotto.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 veal ossobuco
  • oil and butter for frying
  • 1 tablespoon chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • flour for dusting
  • 120ml white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 240ml beef stock
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 15 to 25g fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Slit the skin around the ossobuco in two to three points so that slices do not curl when cooked.
  2. In a large saute pan that can hold all four slices of veal in a single layer, add a drizzle of oil and knob of butter. Place over medium heat, then add the carrot and onion. Cook and stir gently till softened.
  3. Dust the veal with flour. Place in the pan and brown on both sides. Pour in the white wine and simmer till the alcohol evaporates. Add salt, pepper and the tomato puree. Gradually add the stock, stirring between each addition.
  4. Cover with a lid, set to medium-low heat and cook slowly for about an hour, turning the meat occasionally, till the veal is tender.
  5. While the ossobuco cooks, make the gremolada: combine the parsley with the lemon zest, then set aside.
  6. Five minutes before removing the ossobuco from the heat, uncover and stir in the gremolada.


The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the shanks. Use a fork to ensure they are tender before adding the gremolada.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (2)

by manella

This recipe brings me back to my childhood.There are different regions in Italy, and even though this one is form the part of Italy where i was born, Northern Italy, we make it a little different.I did make changes, i used beef shanks as veal is very hard to find here.I used gluten free flour and olive oil in place of butter.I did not use the wine, i used my own tomatoe sauce and after searing the shanks added them to the sauce. I found 55 min. cooking time not enough time to get the shanks tender, so i finished it in the oven at 325 for 30 min. more.I served the shanks over Penne Pasta.My mom made it this way and this is how i remember it.This recipe could use more seasoning such as rosemary, basil and garlic.-08 Nov 2017

by weeble

i loved this recipe. i did do a few things differently though. i used 3 carrots and a whole onion, chopped as opposed to a tbsp of each. i didn't have any wine, so i used beef stock. i added 3 cracked cloves of garlic. i also didn't have any fresh parsley so i left out the Gremolata at the end. before serving i removed the shanks and carrots and and pureed what was left in the pot which made for a great gravy. Very good recipe!-17 Apr 2017

Osso Buco – Classic Milan, Italy (Milanese) Cuisine

One of the most infamous and delicious recipes from Milan, is Osso Buco.

During our visit to this beautiful northern Italian city, I enjoyed Osso buco (which means “bone with a hole”, osso: bone, buco: hole), the name references the marrow hole at the centre of a veal shank. This delicious Milanese speciality is a slow braising of veal shanks with vegetables in a rich sauce. It is often garnished with gremolata and served with Risotto alla Milanese . You can also serve it with polenta if you wish.

Although we can order Osso Buco in many nice restaurants in the States now and despite being able to prepare it at home, it’s always fun to try it directly from the source of creation, in this most recent occasion, in Milan.

We love Osso Buco so much that for our daughter’s wedding reception we served it at the rehearsal dinner to over 40 guests! The chef at our local restaurant, where we held the dinner, is a master at preparing this entree.

Classic Milanese Cuisine: OSSO BUCO from The Galleria Cafe in Milan, Italy, October, 2017

    • 4 veal shank pieces, about 12 ounces each
    • Salt as needed
    • Freshly ground black pepper as needed
    • Flour as needed for dredging veal shanks
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup diced yellow onion
    • 1/2 cup diced carrot
    • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3/4 cup dry white wine
    • 4 cups beef or chicken broth
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
    1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. 2. Season the veal shanks generously with salt and pepper. Dredge the shanks in flour and shake away any excess.
    3. 3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole or Dutch oven over high heat until it shimmers. Sear the veal shanks in the oil, turning as necessary, until they have a good color on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove them to a platter and cover loosely with foil.
    4. 4. Add the onion, carrot, and 2 teaspoons minced garlic to the hot oil and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste turns a rust color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir well to dissolve the tomato paste.
    5. 5. Return the veal shanks to the casserole along with any juices they may have released and add enough broth to cover the shanks by about 1/2. Bring the broth to a simmer, cover the casserole, and place it in the oven. Braise the shanks, turning them as necessary to keep them evenly moistened, until they are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the shanks to a serving platter and keep warm while finishing the sauce.
    6. 6. Strain the sauce, return it to the casserole, and bring it to a boil over high heat, skimming the surface as necessary. Reduce the heat to low simmer until the sauce has a lightly thickened consistency, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    7. 7. Combine the remaining garlic, the lemon zest, parsley, and anchovy fillets to form the gremolata. Serve the shanks on heated plates garnished with the gremolata.

    Reprinted with permission from One Dish Meals, by The Culinary Institute of America., © 2006 Lebhar-Friedman Books

    4 Comments Add yours

    The gremolata is the minced lemon rind, garlic, parsley and anchovies applied at very end. There you have it.
    I learned that when I first made ossobuco many moons ago from the recipe in the Time/Life Cookbooks of the World series…which by the way was a good recipe and included gremolata.

    Grazie, Ann. I supposed so. What confused me is that Tyler Florence includes grated orange rind and does not include the anchovies, in his recipe I never heard of the term Gremolata, before. I called some friends in Italy and asked them, too. They thought it was a mispelling of some sort of Granita when I told them it should be associated to Ossobuco, they still had no idea. Martina knew what Gremolata referred to, but she is being living in America for 25 years and does not remember whether she learned of it here. Grazie mille. Now I know. But I insist: I want my Gremolata with the anchovies! Grazie for clarifying!

    I believe the gremolata in the Time-Life recipe (I can’t get to my copy right now) did not include anchovies either, but was composed of lemon rind, parsley and garlic very finely minced. Perhaps someone with access to the book will verify? Perhaps post the whole recipe?

    Marcella Hazan, the final word on all things related to Italian cooking, includes a reference for gremolada with her Osso buco recipe (in her “classics” cookbook). Although as I recall she says its not commonly used in Italy. By the way, while I love anchovies, there are no anchovies in that recipe.


    Osso Buco
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Tie veal shanks firmly with butcher’s twine. Season with salt and pepper dredge in flour.

    2. Heat large skillet add enough olive oil to cover bottom of pan and brown veal shank. Turn on all sides add oil, as needed.

    3. Select shallow braising pan large enough to fit veal shanks snuggly. Place pan on moderate heat
    melt butter. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes until vegetables achieve a little color. Reserve.

    4. Add browned veal shanks to braising pan. Deglaze skillet with wine remove fond. Add deglazed fond, stock, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves to braising pan. Bring to a boil.

    5. Cover and place in oven for approximately 2½ hours or until fork-tender (larger shanks may take longer). To check for tenderness, insert clean fork through veal shank meat. There should be no resistance.

    6. Once tender, carefully remove osso buco from braising pan. Reserve, covered.

    7. With spoon, push sauce though chinois into saucepan. Reduce by half.

    Method: Combine all ingredients reserve for service.

    Risotto alla Milanese
    1. In saucepot, bring chicken stock to a simmer keep over low heat.

    2. In saute pan on medium heat, melt butter. Sweat onion (no color).

    3. Once onion is translucent, add sliced bone marrow and rice. Stir rice to coat with fat.

    4. Add wine continue to stir until absorbed.

    5. Gradually add stock in 2- to 3-oz. increments. Stir rice continuously until stock is absorbed.

    6. Add saffron add another 2-3 oz. stock. Stir until absorbed. Continue process until rice is cooked al dente. Finish rice with softened butter and Parmesan cheese season with salt and pepper.

    To serve:
    1. Place one portion risotto alla Milanese on bottom of casserole dish.

    2. Place osso buco on top of risotto, sauce, and top with gremolata and bone marrow.

    • 6 (1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick) pieces osso buco (veal shanks) (about 4 pounds 1.8kg total)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 ounces 140g)
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 ounce 15g)
    • 1 large yellow onion, minced (12 ounces 340g)
    • 2 medium carrots, minced (6 ounces 170g)
    • 1 celery rib, minced (4 ounces 120g)
    • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup (235ml) dry white wine
    • 3/4 cup (175ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
    • 1 (28-ounce 800g) can peeled whole tomatoes, seeded and drained, tomato flesh crushed by hand
    • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
    • 1 bay leaf
    • For the Gremolada:
    • 2 tablespoons (about 20g) finely minced flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
    • Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced
    • 6 medium cloves garlic, finely minced

    Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Season veal shanks all over with salt and pepper. If you have butcher's twine, you can tie a length of it tightly around the circumference of each shank this can help them hold their shape during cooking, but is not absolutely necessary.

    Add flour to a shallow bowl. In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, lightly dredge shanks all over in flour, shaking off excess, and add to Dutch oven be careful not to over-crown the shanks. Cook shanks, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side lower heat as necessary at any point to prevent scorching. Transfer browned shanks to a platter and repeat with remaining shanks add more oil to Dutch oven at any point if it becomes too dry.

    Add butter to Dutch oven, along with onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until vegetables are softened and just starting to turn a light golden color, about 6 minutes.

    Add wine, stock, and tomatoes to Dutch oven, along with veal shanks and any accumulated juices. Try to arrange the shanks in as even a layer as possible (a little overlap is okay to make them fit). The liquid should nearly but not totally cover the shanks if it doesn't, add more stock or water until it does. Add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer.

    Prepare a parchment paper lid following these instructions Cover shanks with parchment lid and transfer to oven. Cook for 2 hours.

    Meanwhile, for the Gremolada: In a small bowl, stir together parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Set aside.

    Remove parchment paper lid from shanks and continue cooking until they are fork-tender, about 1 hour longer. If the pot becomes too dry, add more stock or water as needed to keep it moist evaporation and reduction are good, but the pot shouldn't go dry. Feel free to move the shanks around so that any that are submerged can be exposed to the oven air. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10ml) gremolada, depending on how strong you want the lemon and garlic flavor to be.

    Carefully transfer shanks to a platter. (Using a spatula and tongs together can help prevent them from falling apart.) Using a spoon, carefully scrape off any excess fat on surface of braising juices. The liquid should be saucy and thick you can adjust the consistency by adding either water or stock to thin the sauce, or simmering it on the stovetop until more fully reduced. Discard thyme and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

    Remove twine from shanks, if used. Serve shanks on plates, spooning braising sauce on top and passing remaining gremolada at the table for diners to sprinkle as a garnish to their own taste make sure to offer small spoons for scooping out marrow from bones. Osso buco is traditionally served with Risotto alla Milanese.


    Tie the bay leaves and rosemary together with a string. Pour the chicken broth into a small pot and keep it hot over low heat.

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Season the ossobuco with the salt and pepper. Spread some flour on a plate. Dredge the ossobuco in the flour, tapping off the excess. When the oil is hot, add the ossobuco and brown on all sides, about 6-7 minutes in all. Remove them to a plate.

    Add the onion, carrots and celery to the Dutch oven. Cook until the onion begins to soften, and all of the vegetables are caramelized, about 5 minutes. Clear a space in the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook and stir the tomato paste in that spot until it is toasted and darkened a bit, about 1 minute, then stir it into the vegetables. Add the wine and the herb package. Bring to a boil, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

    Drop in the cloves and the orange peel (reserve the zest from the other orange for later). Return the ossobuco to the pot in one layer and pour enough chicken broth over the top that it almost, but not quite, covers the meat. Adjust heat so the liquid is simmering, cover, and cook until the ossobuco is tender, about 1 hour.

    Once the meat is tender, uncover it, and remove the vegetable chunks to a platter. Put the ossobuco on top of the vegetables. Discard the package of bay leaves and rosemary. Bring the liquid in the Dutch oven to a boil, and cook it down until saucy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the strings from the ossobuco. Pour the sauce through a strainer directly over them on the platter, pressing on any remaining vegetable solids with a wooden spoon. Stir together the orange zest and parsley, sprinkle over the shanks and serve.

    Related Video

    Where is it indicated that these are chops? They should be veal shanks!

    I made this dish according to the directions with 2 exception: 1) instead of using the oven, I left the covered pot on a low flame on the stovetop for 2 hours, and 2) all herbs were fresh including the bay leaf. It was delicious, and the meat was falling off the bone. Very savory and satisfying on a cold night. There was more liquid than expected, but I'm saving this in the freezer to add to a future beef stew or to a tomato-based pasta sauce. I will make this again.

    Let me start by saying that the only person who cleaned his plate was a guest who had already suffered two heart attacks. This was THE fattiest, greasiest dish I've ever made or eaten. Actually, I only tasted a bit of the little bit of meat the chop yielded--all the rest was fat. The would-have-been wonderful vegetables were simply saturated in grease. The topper was the 4.5 lbs of chops cost $32.00. Save your arteries and choose some other veal dish.

    Excellent recipe, I wrap the chops with thinly sliced pancetta before tying and flouring, adds to the meaty flavor also some garlic minced

    Perfect for a winters eve. I used a Dutch oven which reduced cooking time by 20 minutes. Also prepared the Gremolata with a clove of garlic and minced the lemon, parsley, and garlic into a fine Italian pixy dust. When the Gremolata hits the warm Osso Bucco at serving time it creates a wonderful complex amroma. I used Vermouth for the dry white wine. Side was rustic mashed potatoes to absorb the tomato sauce. Rich and filling meal, a little goes a long way. Leftover sauce will be used in a pasta dish. As my niece says "Veal is proof God loves us".

    Ossobuco alla Milanese

    Ossobuco is Italian for bone hole: osso = bone, buco = hole. What they are talking about is the hole in the middle of bone where the marrow is, the marrow being important to the dish. The bone they are talking about is the leg bone or shank of, most commonly, a veal or, less frequently, of lamb. The dish comes from Milan, which is the capital of Lombardy. So the full title is ossobuco alla milanese. In America, ossobuco is frequently spelled osso bucco or osso buco, and all three spellings work. But if you go to Italy, order it ossobuco alla milanese.

    This dish is braised, which means it is cooked covered in liquid for long a long period of time. This dish is just as much about the sauce as it is the meat that it’s cooking. The osso bucco recipe that I have used for this article is very similar to a traditional ossobuco recipe. The sauce comes out tasting predominately of veal and tomato. The meat is so incredibly tender that it falls apart, making it easier to eat each bite drenched in sauce. So amazing. I hope you enjoy making and eating this as much as I did.

    Osso Buco alla Milanese

    The dish that inspired me to write the whole Braising book is probably classic . I don't know where or when I first tasted a slowly-cooked veal shank of tomatoes and white wines, but I know I wasn't able to go to the restaurants after years because I didn't order it from the menu. Fortunately, I've learned to make it –the recipe, given the complexity of its taste, is surprisingly simple–and I'm still not so fond of the dish.

    I add to the typical aromatic mix of onions, celery, a little chopped fresh fennel and add orange zest to enliven the liquid, but else this is quite a classical recipe I first tasted. Veal shakes are perfect for braising, because the connective tissue is so high in collagen, breaking down in the moist and low heat of the braise and enriching the like nothing else.

    Shanks have a surprisingly fine texture of meat, which makes them so delicious if they are braised. Some cooks forgo the gremolata, the pungent mixture of garlic, parsley, and zest added to the osso buco during the last minutes of the braise, but soon as it comes in contact with the warm veal, giving the whole dish a divine lift. Personally, I like the gremolata so much that I like it