Osso Buco (Italian veal shank) recipe

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Osso buco is a classic Italian veal recipe, great with risotto or pasta. The veal shanks are first browned and then slowly cooked in a stock made of vegetables and herbs. Some variations of this recipe use white wine instead of the tomatoes.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 120 minutes, Serves: 6 


4 veal shanks (these should be at least 1 1/2 inches thick)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp hot chili pepper flakes or to taste

1 (28 oz.) can plum tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. The pan should be large enough to hold all 4 veal shanks on one layer. Until the oil heats up, dust the veal shanks with flour, making sure that they are covered all around with a thin layer of flour.

Place the veal shanks in the pan and slowly brown them on all sides. When browned, remove them from the pan, put them on a plate and set aside.

Add the chopped vegetables (onions, celery, carrots and parsley) to the pan and saute them until glossy and a little wilted. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well until the tomato paste is disolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the veal shanks to the pan. Cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours (time depends on the size of the veal shanks), until the meat is tender and falls from the bones.

Serve with a risotto or pasta tossed in butter.
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