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Osso Buco | A hearty Italian classic

Osso Buco, meaning “bone with a hole”, is a celebrated dish from the Lombardy region in Italy. It features veal shanks, slowly braised until fork-tender, with vegetables, wine, and broth. The “hole” refers to the marrow in the centre of the shank bone, which melts into the sauce, adding incredible richness and flavour. Osso Buco is often garnished with gremolata and traditionally served with either risotto milanese or polenta, depending on the region.

Inspired by BellyBelly members, we’ve crafted a simplified version of Osso Buco, that captures the essence of the regional varieties of this beloved dish. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, this recipe is approachable and delivers restaurant-quality results for you and your family.

Tip for Osso Buco

  • Ask your butcher to cut the veal shanks into thick slices for you (approx. 2 inches).
  • For a richer flavour, use a mix of beef and chicken broth.
  • Don’t skip the gremolata! It adds a bright, zesty counterpoint to the rich sauce.
  • Serve it with risotto or polenta while warm.
  • If you don’t have an oven-safe pot, you can brown the veal in a pan and then transfer everything to a casserole dish for slow cooking.

Ingredients

Main

  • 4 veal shanks, about 2 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g pancetta, diced

Vegetables

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Liquid

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes

Gremolata (garnish)

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Prepare the veal: Season the veal shanks generously with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.
  2. Stovetop and Oven or Slow Cooker Options

Stovetop and Oven

  1. Brown the veal: Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the veal shanks and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the veal and set aside.
  2. Cook the aromatics: In the same pot, add the pancetta and cook until it starts to render its fat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Deglaze and simmer: Pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the beef broth, chopped tomatoes, and the veal shanks. Bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to the oven.
  4. Cook: Cook for 2-3 hours at 160°C (fan), or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Slow Cooker

  1. Brown the veal (optional): You can skip this step for the slow cooker, but browning adds depth of flavour. If you prefer to brown, follow step 1 of the Stovetop and Oven instructions.
  2. Combine ingredients: Add the pancetta, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the slow cooker. Place the veal shanks on top.
  3. Add liquids: Pour in the white wine, beef broth, and chopped tomatoes.
  4. Slow cook: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until the meat is tender and easily pulled apart.
  1. Make the gremolata: While the Osso Buco is cooking, combine the lemon zest, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Serve: Spoon the Osso Buco onto plates and top with a generous spoonful of gremolata. Serve with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

Craving more international flavours? Check out this delicious recipe for Beef Slow Cooker Recipes

For more information on buying the right Slow Cooker for you, we recommend you review the following: Slow Cooker

Joana Camato

Joana Camato

Busy mom of 2 juggling customer service, SEO analysis, writing, and content management! When I'm not wrangling words or kids, I love getting lost in a good book, whipping up something delicious, or exploring new places.

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