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Osso Buco

The Perfect Osso Buco Recipe You Should Try

Osso buco, a traditional Italian dish, has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide with its rich flavors and tender meat. Originating from the Lombardy region, this dish is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can be transformed into a luxurious meal. In this blog, we’ll delve into what makes osso buco so special, explore its traditional preparation methods, and provide tips on perfecting this classic at home.

What is Osso Buco?

What is Osso Buco

Osso buco translates to “bone with a hole,” a name that aptly describes the cut of meat in this dish — cross-cut veal shanks featuring a marrow-filled bone at the center. This dish is renowned for its succulent texture; the rich, creamy marrow is considered a delicacy. Traditionally, osso buco is braised with onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes and seasoned with Garlic, bay leaves, and a mix of herbs, creating a harmonious symphony of flavors.

The slow cooking process allows the meat to become tender enough to fall off the bone while absorbing the aromatic base of the vegetables and wine. A splash of white wine added during cooking enhances the flavor, and further helps tenderize the meat. The result is a dish that’s satisfying and deeply comforting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Osso Buco

Creating osso buco requires a few key ingredients and some patience. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Veal shanks
  • Onions, carrots, and celery
  • Garlic and fresh herbs (like thyme and bay leaf)
  • Tomatoes (either fresh or canned)
  • White wine
  • Broth (veal or chicken)
  • Olive oil and butter
  • Salt and pepper

To prepare osso buco:

  • Begin by liberally seasoning veal shanks with Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat a blend of olive oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet until hot, then add the veal shanks
  • Sear them over medium-high heat until each side is golden brown, creating a rich, flavorful crust

veal shanks

Once browned, remove the shanks and set aside. In the same skillet, add chopped onions, carrots, and celery and sautéing them until they become soft and translucent. This step is crucial as it builds the base flavor of the dish.

Next, stir in minced Garlic, fresh thyme, and bay leaves, cooking until aromatic. Chop fresh or canned tomatoes and add to the pan, letting them cook down into a rustic sauce. Pour in a splash of white wine, allowing it to simmer and reduce slightly, intensifying the flavor. Return the veal shanks to the pan, cover them with Broth (veal or chicken), and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the skillet with a lid and transfer it to a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). Let the osso buco braise for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours or until the meat is fork-tender and the flavors are melded beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Osso buco with risotto alla Milanese

Osso buco is traditionally served with risotto alla Milanese, a creamy risotto flavored with saffron, which complements the rich flavors of the meat. The dish is often garnished with gremolata, a zesty condiment made from lemon zest, Garlic, and parsley, which adds a fresh, bright note to balance the hearty braise.

Nutritional Value 

Despite its luxurious taste, osso buco is surprisingly nutritious. Veal shanks are protein-rich and contain essential minerals like iron and zinc. The marrow from the bones is packed with nutrients, including vitamin B12 and beneficial fats. However, this dish can be high in calories, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Cultural Significance

In Italy, osso buco is more than just a meal; it’s a part of the culinary heritage, especially in Milan. People typically enjoy it during special occasions and family gatherings. Its preparation and enjoyment are steeped in tradition, making it a dish that fosters community and family ties.


Osso buco is a testament to the Italian culinary philosophy of using simple, high-quality ingredients to create profoundly flavorful and satisfying dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, making osso buco can be a rewarding experience that brings a taste of Italian luxury to your dining table. Remember to take your time preparing — good things come to those who wait. Enjoy the process and the delicious results.

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