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veal osso buco recipe

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Veal Osso Buco is a classic Italian dish, a specialty featuring braised veal shanks with the marrow-filled bone at the center, known as osso buco. The dish is finished with the vibrant flavors of lemon zest and parsley, the traditional gremolata. 

Veal osso buco is more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey through the flavors and traditions of Italy. With a few simple ingredients and cooking techniques, you can recreate this classic dish in your kitchen.

How it all started

About 20 years ago, during a holiday in the US, my husband introduced me to an Italian restaurant. While I adore pasta in almost any form, my husband, a dedicated meat enthusiast, had a craving for something hearty.

He decided to try osso buco, a dish that was entirely new to us at the time. As soon as it arrived at our table, he was smitten. Four years later, during a trip to Milan, we found ourselves at Trattoria de la Pesa, renowned for its exceptional osso buco. Securing a reservation required booking well in advance, but the experience was unforgettable.

Since then, my husband has been perfecting his own osso buco recipe, infusing it with thyme and finishing it with lemon zest and parsley to mimic the gremolata we enjoyed in Milan.

traditional osso buco

Italian osso buco ingredients

To recreate this iconic dish at home, you’ll need a few key ingredients:

  • garlic cloves smashed and chopped
  • large red onions finelly chopped
  • bunch of thyme (10g)
  • 4 veal shanks
  • carrots
  • celery sticks
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt and pepper
  • lemon zest
  • cherry tomatoes
  • beef stock
ingredients to make thyme infused osso buco

Ingredients to prepare saffron rice:

  • 400 ml of  rice
  • 1 spring onion
  • 5-6 threads of saffron soaked in 50 ml hot water

Ingredients to prepare gremolata:

  • parsley
  • lemon zest

How to make Osso buco with braised veal shank

First step: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 250°C.

Second step: Prepare the Vegetable Base

In a large casserole, heat olive oil and fry the garlic. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. After 3 minutes, add thyme and season with freshly ground pepper and salt. Once the liquid from the vegetables reduces, transfer the mixture aside.

making gremolata for veal osso buco
preparing the meat for osso buco

Third step: Brown the Veal Shanks

Season the veal shanks and marrow with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side.

veal shank

Fourth step: Combine and Assemble

Pour the vegetable mixture, along with any accumulated juices and chicken stock, over the meat in the casserole. Place tomatoes on top and sprinkle with lemon zest.

Fifth step: Bake

Cover the casserole and bake in the oven at 250°C for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for an additional 2 hours.

cooking veal shank

Mastering the traditional osso buco recipe

Some restaurants serve osso bucco with risotto or polenta.

However. for a complete dining experience, serve Veal Osso Buco with saffron rice and gremolata:

  • To make saffron rice, rinse the rice, then sauté finely chopped spring onions in olive oil. Add the rice, water, and saffron threads soaked in hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer covered until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve as a fragrant and flavorful side dish.
  • Create gremolata by mixing chopped parsley with lemon zest.

Veal Osso buco Variations

  1. Enhance with aromatic herbs and spices like bay leaves.
  2. Experiment with citrus zest variations such as orange or grapefruit.
  3. Explore different tomato varieties such as sun-dried or heirloom.
  4. Use red wine or Marsala for a unique sauce.
  5. Add mushrooms, bell peppers, or fennel for extra depth.
  6. Use beef shanks instead of veal for a different taste.
veal osso buco recipe

Osso buco Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Brown the shanks well to enhance flavor.
  • Use a dry white wine for depth of flavor.
  • Slow braise until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
  • use a Dutch oven for even cooking.
Osso buco

veal osso buco recipe

Vladka@simplybeyondherbs.com
Italian veal speciality with the marrow hole at the centre, osso buco infused with thyme. The dish is finished with lemon zest and parsley, which stands for gremolata.
4.91 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 571 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
  • 3 large red onions finelly chopped
  • a bunch of thyme 10g
  • 4 veal shanks
  • 3 medium carrot funely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper and salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 250 ml of beef stock

Ingredients to prepare saffron rice:

  • 400 ml of rice
  • 1 spring onion
  • 5-6 threads of saffron soaked in 50 ml hot water

Ingredients to prepare for gremolata:

  • parsley
  • lemon zest.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  • In a large casserole, heat olive oil and fry the garlic. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. After 3 minutes, add thyme and season with freshly ground pepper and salt. Once the liquid from the vegetables reduces, transfer the mixture aside.
  • Season the veal shanks and marrow with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Pour the vegetable mixture, along with any accumulated juices and chicken stock, over the meat in the casserole. Place tomatoes on top and sprinkle with lemon zest.
  • Cover the casserole and bake in the oven at 250°C for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for an additional 2 hours.

Video

Notes

For a complete dining experience, serve Veal Osso Buco with saffron rice and gremolata:
  • To make saffron rice, rinse the rice, then sauté finely chopped spring onions in olive oil. Add the rice, water, and saffron threads soaked in hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer covered until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve as a fragrant and flavorful side dish.
  • Create gremolata by mixing chopped parsley with lemon zest.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 571kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 67gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 241mgSodium: 506mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8g
Keyword osso buco, thyme, veal osso buco
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Vladka on March 15th, 2018

14 Comments on “veal osso buco recipe”

  1. Although I am vegan this looks absolutely fantastic! I love saffron rice, so I might just need to make some soon! Where do you get your saffron, it’s not always easy to find!

    Reply
    • Thank you Casey, I am lucky because my husband is once a year travelling to Iran and brings very good quality of saffron from there.

      Reply
  2. herbs make everything taste better and this is one my fave classic Italian dishes It’s been years since I had it and you are making me hungry with this post

    Reply
  3. This recipe looks really perfect. I have to try it this week. Thanks for posting it.

    Reply
  4. This is perfect! Planning to make this for our Weekend dinner. Looks delicious and flavorful. Thanks for this recipe.

    Reply

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