When I was little my dad used to go crazy for Osso Buco, which translates from Italian as bone with a hole in. I just didn´t “get” it but I enjoyed dipping my bread in the sauce. My, how times have changed. I go crazy for it now as my dad did. Like many dishes, it used to be a poor person´s meal, made from the sliced shank bone of a young (or otherwise) cow. Of course, it´s now a rather grand restaurant dish and veal is more typically used. It´s not found that often on menus as it is a long, slow cooked recipe. It´s also often made with white wine and no tomato and served with a gremolata. Naturally, I ignored all this and did it my way!
When I saw in our local supermarket that they were selling sliced pork shank bones, I snapped up two packs (there were four in each) and decided to give making this delicious dish a go. If you´ve ever cooked oxtail, the process is pretty much the same. I also found that it was best made a day ahead to allow the flavours to really develop and to also be able to remove any fat from the top of the dish before heating and serving.
- To serve four people I used two fairly meaty slices of shank per person
- 1 large onion, peeled
- Four carrots, peeled
- 2 large sticks of celery cleaned and tough “strings” removed
- Four fat cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of crushed tomato
- 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato purée or concentrate
- ½ a bottle of red wine
- A bay leaf and about 5 whole peppercorns
- Olive oil for frying
- Flour for coating the meat
You will also need a deep heavy based (preferably oven proof) dish with a lid
Start by dealing with the vegetables. You can either finely chop or process. I chose the latter as I wanted the vegetables to cook down to a thick sauce, but the choice is yours.
Season the flour and coat the pieces of meat in it, reserving any that is left over. Cover the base of your cooking pot with oil and at a high heat, brown the meat on all sides and remove to a plate. Turn the heat down and add all the vegetables, make sure they are coated in oil then put the lid on and let them sweat gently until soft for about 10 minutes. Now stir in up to a heaped tablespoon of any left over flour, cook for a minute or two then add the crushed tomato, the concentrate and the wine. Bring it up to a bubble and have a little glass of wine while you are waiting.
When it is bubbling away nicely, add the meat back into the pot, season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover the pot and either cook very slowly on the hob for about 2-3 hours or in the oven at the lowest setting for about 5 hours. I prefer to use the oven as there is no chance of anything sticking to the bottom of the pot and I think the longer, slower cooking really does add something to the flavour.
The dish is done when the meat is making only a token gesture to hold on to its delicious centre bone. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
This is a real winter warmer dish and is perfect served with mashed or boiled potatoes or plain boiled rice or wet polenta. Recommend you eat it with a fork and spoon as you won´t need a knife and you won´t want to miss any of that rich sauce. Fingers of course, are obligatory for sucking on the bones.
71 thoughts on “Osso Buco – Braised Veal (or Pork) Shank”
I love osso buco and your recipe looks perfect!
Thank you so much – it´s such a comforting dish!
Perfect, warming winter dish
It is, we really enjoyed it!
Another one that I haven’t tried. You never cease to amaze me.
Easy to track down in London though!
I love that you ignored all and did it your way – fabulous meal – so full of flavour and such a wonderfully comforting meal.
As you may have noticed, I can be quite contrary 😉
Lovely – I cooked some last Friday 😉
When do we get to see YOUR version?!
Here’s my Osso Buco recipe 😉
I checked it out and I love it – especially with the addition of anchovy and chilli, very nice indeed!
This looks wonderful, I have never done this before but after reading about it here…. I must! My husband would love it!
Let me know if you do give it a go – and I hope you enjoy it!
Making it tonight 🙂
I made it with veal, and it was amazing! Thank you for the inspiration! I loved it!
Wonderful – so glad you made it and enjoyed it. And with veal…perfect !
I’ve never made it, but every local Italian restaurant around here has a version, and it’s one of my favorite winter dishes!
Glad to hear that your local Italian restaurants are making it!
I agree. Everything tastes better the next day, this must be so tasty, i am a great fan of slow cooking, especially on my woodstove! This is a keeper.. c
Oh yes, cooking on a woodstove adds a little something special!
This is a great recipe, Tanya, one that I’ll definitely try. I agree that it is better served the next day, once the fat has been removed and the flavors really meld together. For me, though, having to smell that aroma coming from my oven all afternoon, only to store the food overnight, is torturous. Nothing I have for dinner that evening will taste nearly as good as what I’ve got stored away for the following day. It’s Foodie Hell.
I agree – the house is full of wonderful smells but I guess the anticipation is part of the pleasure!
Tanya, this looks sooo good!! omg, I hope I can find some good shank over the weekend as this is going to be my Sunday dinner…and even better the next day!
I like any left over sauce with pasta…and plenty of freshly grated parmesan!
Osso Buco is just the ultimate gourmet, special meal to make for friends at a dinner party. It’s been swirling around in my mind for some time.. I think now I feel brave enough to try.. but, as John says, it would be “Food Hell” not to serve it right away!! xo Smidge
You have to steel yourself to ignore it for 24 hours! It will be worth it, I promise 🙂
I’ll do my best.. my husband?? That would be a challenge!!
Great recipe. I’ve tried it with the tomatoes and with the gremalota. I have to say it’s all good to me, and not in that bad 90s slang way. It’s all about the meat. Oh, I have to make this again!
I saw your recipes and they look great – it´s a good dish to “play” with!
Also, I agree. When did it get so pricey at restaurants!
I know, what´s that all about?! I guess in the same way they now charge more for things like offal too – it´s become trendy.
Oh I’ve been wanting to try this with oxtail but never have the nerve. I recently saw oxtail in a local market so I guess I better just take the leap!
If you enjoy eating things with your fingers, this is great as you get to the end as you lick off all the sauce!
Haha, I never knew it meant “bone with a hole in it” – I’ve actually never had Osso Buco before, though always wanted to try. It looks like a really warming, satisfying meal – I love the idea of it being so tender you can just eat it with a fork alone too!
Funny eh, but true! Can highly recommend it, but oxtail is a good replacement if you can´t get shanks. Meltingly tender and I can recommend fingers as well as forks!
Hmmmm…just the recipe that I’ve been looking for. I love beef shanks especially after it has slowly cooked for hours. In the Philippines, we make a soup out of the beef shanks which just consists of boiling for hours with very basic spices.
This is perfect this weekend and I will need a lot of rice to go with it. Yummy!
Sounds good to me – anything slow cooked generally makes magic!
I had an amazing Osso Buco in San Diego – and have wanted to try making it ever since. I can’t wait to try your recipe!
Hope it matches up to the memory!
I am learning a lot here 🙂
Hope you´re having fun too!
This looks wonderful and it’s a great idea to add tomato. I’m home now and can’t wait to try this!
Welcome back! How could I not use tomatoes – a neighbour with a glasshouse already has some gorgeous ones growing and I am on my last few jars from last summer 😦
This looks so good and though I’ve had it and loved it, I’ve never made it. I’ve also had leftover sauce on pasta which as you said, is delicious and even more so with Parmesan. I’m going to have to try this!
Can recommend making it – it´s actually pretty straightforward and once you´ve done the prep, you can forget about it. Well…apart from the wonderful smells that will fill your kitchen 😉
Righto, so where’s winter? Um, not here yet, southern hemisphere laggards that we are (!) and this is on the list to make when the days get shorter ….
You´ve got a way to go yet, but when it does arrive, I think you´ll enjoy this!
I haven’t had osso buco in a few month and my gluttonous side is begging for some after reading your post. 🙂
Go on, make it, you know you want to!
Oh, yummy yummmmmy yum! I love braised shanks that fall apart in their rich red-wine bath. I’ll keep this recipe handy for sure. Reminds me of a gorgeous braised lamb shank in a lovely Roehampton bistro . . . sigh . . . 🙂
Rich red wine bath – sounds lovely doesn´t it! And is that Roehampton in the UK or another country? Roehampton in South London is not so far from my parents!
Yes, *that* Roehampton. R was doing a graduate conducting or choral literature workshop at the school there a few years ago for a friend and she took us and his co-clinician Bob Chilcott to that wonderful eatery. Still dream of that rosemary-wine cooked shank served on buttery mash. Ohmmmmm!
How wonderful, you lucky thing!
*wipes drool off keyboard* YUM!
Sending over a napkin!
I have never had Osso Buco before, and would love to try it. This looks divine! Thanks for the recipe.
You´re welcome, do hope you give it a go one day, it´s so tasty!
La verdad es que nunca he comido osso buco… supongo que ya va siendo hora… 😉
Es muy bueno – ¡hay que probarlo!
Mmmmmm, I love dishes where you can soak up the sauce with bread. My favorite. 🙂
Me too – it´s half the pleasure!
I’m definitely going to try your pork version. I am like you and your Dad…I love ossobuco.
I think it´s more economical than veal, but the taste is soooo good!
I love mine with gremolata, but your version looks awesome too!
Think I´ll do that next time, I was eager to eat and didn´t get round to making it!
Another dish I’ve never tried. Which is bizarre because this kind of slow cooked deliciousness is my idea of perfection. I vote for mashed potatoes to go with it! Lots of hot cream and butter mixed in. Hang the diet!
I agree with your vote, and yes, plenty of cream and butter in those potatoes!
Even though I just recently began reading your blog, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the 7 x 7 Link Award, and that I’ll be following your blog much more often now! It is much deserved!! Congratulations, and great post by the way! I really enjoyed the background story on the dish 🙂
Thank you so very much – that´s very kind of you!