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Osso Buco (Italian Braised Veal Shanks) Recipe Recipe Osso Bucco

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Table of Contents

  1. What is Osso Buco?
  2. Ingredients
  3. Preparation
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. History of Osso Buco

What is Osso Buco?

Osso Buco is a traditional Italian dish made from braised veal shanks. The name "Osso Buco" translates to "bone with a hole" in Italian, referring to the marrow-filled bone in the center of the veal shank. This dish is known for its rich and flavorful sauce, tender meat, and the gelatinous marrow that adds a luxurious touch to each bite.

Osso Buco is typically made by slowly braising veal shanks in a combination of vegetables, white wine, and broth until the meat is fork-tender and the flavors have melded together. The dish is often served with gremolata, a mixture of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley, which adds a fresh and vibrant flavor to the rich meat.


To make Osso Buco, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 veal shanks, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups beef or veal broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Follow these steps to prepare Osso Buco:

  1. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper, then dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the veal shanks on all sides until golden brown. Remove the shanks from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan and deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Return the veal shanks to the pan and add the broth, diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and dried thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Let the Osso Buco simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  7. Remove the veal shanks from the pan and set aside. Skim off any excess fat from the sauce and discard the bay leaves.
  8. If desired, prepare the gremolata by combining lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped parsley.
  9. Serve the Osso Buco with the sauce spooned over the top, and sprinkle with gremolata for an extra burst of flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Osso Buco is traditionally served with a side of risotto alla Milanese, a creamy saffron-infused rice dish. The rich and savory flavors of the Osso Buco pair perfectly with the delicate and aromatic rice. Alternatively, you can serve it with polenta, mashed potatoes, or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.

To enhance the dining experience, you can also serve Osso Buco with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables on the side. The brightness of the salad or the freshness of the vegetables can help balance out the richness of the dish.

History of Osso Buco

Osso Buco originated in Milan, Italy, and has been a beloved dish in Italian cuisine for centuries. The use of veal shanks in cooking can be traced back to ancient Roman times, where it was considered a delicacy. However, the specific preparation of braising the shanks with vegetables and wine is believed to have originated in the 19th century in Milan.

The dish gained popularity in the 20th century and became a staple of Milanese cuisine. It eventually spread throughout Italy and gained international recognition as one of the iconic Italian dishes. Today, Osso Buco is enjoyed not only in Italy but also in many other parts of the world, showcasing the enduring appeal of this classic recipe.


Osso Buco is a timeless Italian dish that showcases the beauty of braised veal shanks. With its rich and flavorful sauce, tender meat, and gelatinous marrow, it is a dish that is sure to impress. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, making Osso Buco is a rewarding experience that will transport you to the heart of Italian cuisine.

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can recreate this classic dish in your own kitchen. From the initial browning of the veal shanks to the slow simmering of the sauce, each step contributes to the depth of flavor that makes Osso Buco so special.

Whether you choose to serve it with risotto alla Milanese or opt for a different side dish, Osso Buco is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more. So, gather the ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary journey to create this Italian masterpiece. Buon appetito!

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