An authentic slow cooked Osso Bucco Recipe (Osso Bucco alla Milanese) featuring thick veal osso bucco, soffritto, aromatics, and rich white wine gravy. Serve this Italian comfort food with risotto Milanese, on polenta, or mashed potatoes.
Correct me if I’m wrong but Italian food has to be the most comforting cuisine in the world. I’m talking specifically about fresh pasta dishes like Pappardelle with a rich authentic Slow Cooked Bolognese. Or, how about a deceptively simple Pea and Truffle Risotto? These carb-rich dishes are oh, so satisfying to many. What is your comfort food go-to?
About this Osso Bucco Recipe
Once the weather turned cold, the frozen osso bucco in my freezer began beckoning. Fortunately, my Italian friend Adamo was also craving Osso Bucco alla Milanese. He came over one weekend and we spent the afternoon drinking wine and creating this authentic Milanese style Osso Bucco Recipe.
I don’t often share my kitchen but the final result was worth it! The veal osso bucco were fall off the bone tender while the rich white wine sauce sang with flavour. The vegetables, a typical Italian soffritto of celery, onions, and (the last of my garden) carrots were tender and sweet.
Speaking of the garden, this dish is accented with fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and sage. Between the two of us, we were able to supply enough late garden herbs to get the job done. Even though there was snow on the ground, I found some hardy Italian parsley to finish off the dish.
What is Osso Bucco?
Osso Bucco, also spelled Osso Buco or ossobuco, means ‘bone with a hole’ in Italian. It can refer to the specific cut of meat or the dish made with it. Once braised, the soft bone marrow is eaten as a delicacy
Osso bucco is cross cut shank (typically 3 cm thick) which ranges in circumference depending on where the shank is cut. This slow cooking recipe features tender veal osso bucco, however other recipes may feature mature beef, pork, bison, venison, and lamb osso bucco.
As a dish, osso bucco begins with dredging and browning the namesake meat cut, then braising it (in bianco) with wine, herbs, and vegetables. This dish originates from the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, where it is served in Milan ‘alla Milanese’ (over vivid yellow saffron scented risotto). Another version featuring tomatoes is served with polenta, mashed potatoes, or sometimes pasta according to the region.
Ingredients for this Osso Bucco Recipe
If you ask any Italian, the ingredients for a traditional Osso Bucco recipe are mostly set in stone. This is what makes it a traditional regional dish. Most of the ingredients are pretty common in most countries, however, it is not always easy to find veal shanks so substitutions may be required.
- Cross Cut Veal Shanks
- Olive Oil
- Bay Leaves
- White Wine
- Italian Parsley
If you can’t find veal osso bucco you can use mature beef cross cut shanks, or pork. Bear in mind it won’t taste the same and may require more or less cooking time. Veal shanks are 1- 2 pounds and cut relatively thick. If you use beef shanks, they will have a larger circumference so use thinner cut (one inch) pieces for this dish.
This is the sort of recipe that requires a large amount of olive oil so don’t use your good stuff. A general cooking EVOO will do. Adam says North Americans are scared of using too much oil and he may be right.
Classic Italian soffritto consists of onions, celery, and carrots either in equal or varied amounts. They provide the sweet vegetable flavours in this dish.
Aromatic herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and bay leaves are added once the soffritto becomes soft. They infuse the olive oil with incomparable flavour. The Italian parsley adds a brightness that cuts through the richness of the finished dish. You can go one step further and finish the osso bucco Milanese with a bright gremolata as they sometimes do in Italy.
You can use chicken stock, chicken bone broth, or vegetable stock in this recipe. Note that stock will have more added salt than bone broth so adjust the seasoning accordingly.
What is the Best Wine to Use in Osso Bucco?
It is important to use a dry white wine in this recipe. I cannot stress this enough. If the wine is too sweet, it can throw the balance of flavours off since the vegetables already provide a fair amount of sweetness.
A general rule of thumb is to use the same varietals used to make risotto (and you will need a fair amount for drinking and making the saffron risotto!). Varietals/Blends such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, and unoaked Chardonnay are suitable choices.
How to Make Osso Bucco alla Milanese
Prepare the Veal
Adam says that soaking the meat for 20-30 minutes in a large bowl of cold water removes impurities and excess blood. During the browning stage, the osso bucco fried cleanly without leaking blood. He also says to start with a warm pan/oil so the muscle doesn’t retract too quickly, resulting in ‘cupping’ around the marrow bone.
To begin: Add enough olive oil (1/4 cup or more as needed) to coat the bottom of a heavy Dutch oven.
Dry the soaked osso bucco well, then season with salt and pepper. Place 1/2 cup flour in a low bowl or plate and lightly dredge the shanks in the flour. Place osso bucco in the oil and turn the heat to medium high.
Cook the osso bucco on one side until it just begins to turn golden but is not overly caramelized. Turn the meat over and brown the other side. Remove from pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook the Soffritto
Add more olive oil to the Dutch oven (as needed) and sauté the soffritto (onions carrots celery) together over medium heat. Cook the vegetables, stirring often, until it softens and the onions are translucent but not caramelized. Add the garlic (if using) and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add the aromatics (sage, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary) to the soffritto and stir gently so they become infused into the oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Next add the wine, 1/4 cup at a time and allow it to deglaze and cook down in between additions. Finally, arrange the soffritto in an even layer then place the osso bucco over top.
Slow Cooked Osso Bucco
Before placing the osso bucco in the oven, pour in enough stock/bone broth to almost cover the osso bucco. Drizzle with another 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
Cook with the lid on in 350 F oven for 2 hours then check the osso bucco for doneness by wiggling the bone. If the connective tissue starts to separate from the bone, it is done. If it remains attached cook another 30 minutes, as needed.
Check the meat every 30 minutes. The meat should not be falling off the bone, but rather separating so that it stays together for serving. Remove the lid for the final 30 minutes of cooking to allow the liquid to reduce.
How to Serve this Dish
Traditionally this Milanese style Osso Bucco Recipe is served over risotto alla Milanese. This regional risotto is flavoured and coloured with saffron in addition to the stock, onion, white wine, butter, and Parmigiano Cheese.
However, if you prefer to serve it on creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, or pasta it is also delicious. For an even simpler, ‘rustic farmhouse’ serving sop it up with a slice or two of crusty Italian Bread.
You may wish to finish the dish with chopped fresh parsley or a simple gremolata of parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
If you make this Osso Bucco Recipe ‘alla Milanese’, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 4-6 veal osso bucco; soaked
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan) plus plus 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil for soffritto and final drizzle
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups onion
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- 3 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
- 1/2 Tablespoon dried sage leaves
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 1 sprig fresh Rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt (use more if using bone broth)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy Dutch oven.
- Season soaked* and dried osso bucco with salt and pepper. Place flour in a low bowl or plate and lightly dredge each piece of meat in the flour. Heat the pan slightly and place osso bucco in the warm oil.
- Increase the heat to medium high heat and cook the osso bucco until it just begins to turn brown. Turn them over and brown the other side. Remove from pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Add more olive oil to the Dutch oven (as needed) and sauté the onions, celery, and carrots over medium heat. Cook the soffritto, stirring often, until it softens and the onions are translucent but not caramelized.
- Add the aromatics (sage, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary) to the soffritto and stir gently so they become infused into the oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Add wine, 1/4 cup at a time and allow to deglaze in between additions.
- Arrange the soffritto in an even layer then place the osso bucco over top.
- Pour in enough stock/bone broth to almost cover the osso bucco.
- Drizzle with another 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
- Cook in 350 F oven for 2 hours then check the osso bucco for doneness by wiggling the bone. If the meat starts to separate from the bone, it is done. If it remains attached cook another 30 minutes and check again.
- Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
*Soak the osso bucco in a large bowl of cold water for 20-30 minutes before browning. This helps remove any excess blood and will result in a cleaner dish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 808Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 273mgSodium: 1614mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 73g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.