Apr 23, 2019

Ossobuco with Gremolata

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs
This classic Milanese dish is made up of braised veal shanks in a white wine and tomato-based sauce that is served over a bed of saffron risotto and gremolata.

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The classic Milanese dish, ossobuco (or osso buco) is made up of braised veal shanks in a white wine and tomato-based sauce that is served over a bed of saffron risotto and gremolata.

And if you wind up with some of the marrow left in the bones, use a small fork or spoon to dig that delectable bit out. While most red meats are braised in red wine this recipe calls for white wine for a lighter, tomato-based sauce where the flavors of the carrots, celery and onion can shine through and are complimented by the aromatics of rosemary, thyme and bay leaf.

This recipe is best served over saffron risotto, get the recipe here.

Ossobuco with Gremolata

veal osso buco tied up with butcher twine ingredient shot

Why You Should Be Braising Meat

I think that braising is my favorite way to cook meat. It becomes so tender that it can be pulled apart with a fork. After throwing in a few different things with the meatyou have a sauce for it as well. It’s an easy method that over time works to develop complex flavors. Once you know the basics you can sub out various cuts of meat and play around with the method.

osso buco with gremolata and herbs braised in pot

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Veal shanks – Veal shanks don’t take as long to braise as many other cuts of meat since they are only about 1½-inches thick. The bone marrow from the bones melts into the sauce making it even richer. Osso buco literally means “bone with a hole”.
  • Herbs – The gremolata is made with a combination of cilantro and parsley. It’s used to add a fresh element to the oxtail stew that will be used as a pasta sauce.
  • White wine – White wine is the base for the osso buco sauce. Use a dry white wine for this recipe since it won’t overpower the dish by making it too sweet. While I will use just about any white wine in a pinch I prefer cooking with Sauvignon blanc. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink! 
  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste is concentrated tomatoes that have been cooked down until it becomes a thick, dense paste. I try to buy tubes of tomato paste rather than small cans. The tubes allow you to reseal and keep the paste for later (they last a long time) resulting in less waste.
Veal Osso Buco recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Osso Buco

  1. Tie up the veal shanks. Use butcher twine to tie up the veal shanks around the circumference of each shank to help them hold their shape during cooking. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper. Sprinkle all over with flour.
  2. Sear the shanks. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the veal shanks, working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan. Sear the shanks on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining shanks and set aside.
  3. Sauté the aromatics. Lower the heat to medium-low then add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about additional 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the diced tomatoes.
  5. Bundle the herbs. Tie together the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves with twine then add to the pot. Arrange the veal shanks back to the pot and pour the wine over the top.
  6. Braise the meat. Bring to a boil then cover tightly with the lid and braise until the veal shanks are fork tender, about 2 to 2½ hours.
  7. Serve. Stir together the parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Veal Osso Buco over saffron risotto with fork

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this veal osso bucco recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Veal Osso Buco recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup
Veal Osso Buco over saffron risotto recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Osso Bucco with Gremolata

Print Pin
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the osso buco:

  • 4 veal shanks, about 4 pounds
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry white wine

For the gremolata:

  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

Instructions:

For the osso buco:

  • Use butcher twine to tie up the veal shanks around the circumference of each shank to help them hold their shape during cooking. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper. Sprinkle all over with flour.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the veal shanks, working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan. Sear the shanks on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining shanks and set aside.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low then add the onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about additional 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the diced tomatoes.
  • Tie together the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves with twine then add to the pot. Arrange the veal shanks back to the pot and pour the wine over the top.
  • Bring to a boil then cover tightly with the lid and braise until the veal shanks are fork tender, about 2 to 2½ hours.

For the gremolata:

  • Stir together the parsley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

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  1. Questions about this recipe! It says a temperature to set the oven to but it seems the entire meal is made on the stove. Should the Dutch oven ever be transferred to an oven? Also, the last step for the Osso buco says to add stock and wine but there’s no stock mentioned in the ingredients list.