Osso Buco

March 22, 2021  •  Meat & Poultry, One Dish Meals

Osso Buco is one of those dishes you make when you’re going to be home all day and have time to slow cook your dinner – like recently in Colorado when we got over two feet of snow in two days. Sure, you can find recipes to make this quickly in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, but there is something divine about the aromas wafting through kitchen all afternoon that draw me back to the old school slow braise technique.You need to start by searing your beef shanks (veal or bison would work too) in a Dutch oven until nice and golden brown. Then you add all of the braising ingredients and let the pot simmer for hours – give yourself plenty of time as it’s far easier to hold this on warm until you’re ready to eat than it is to speed it up if the meat’s not tender.I’m usually not fussy about seasonings, but in this case some fresh and/or dried herbs in a bundle of cheesecloth flavors the sauce perfectly and is then discarded at that end.I’m not usually one who loves bone marrow, but must say this was quite good and I spooned it out of the bone and devoured it. (The marrow from the other shank melted into the sauce which is also pretty wonderful.) Osso buco is traditionally served with rice, pasta, or gnocchi – I had a spaghetti squash I needed to use up so mixed that with my spaghetti and the result was spot on.

Osso Buco
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dreid thyme
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 beef, veal, or bison cross-cut shanks, about 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 stalk celery, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 cups stock (I used a combo stock of chicken and pork but any will do)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, cooked until tender, then strands scooped out
  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Grated lemon zest, for garnish
  1. Make a small bundle of the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and sage in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string; set aside.Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, season the shanks with salt and pepper and then dredge them in flour.
  2. Sear the meat on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes a side. Remove the meat to a platter and add the carrot, celery and onion to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes, then deglaze the pan with the white wine, making sure to stir up any browned bits from the pan.
  3. Whisk in the tomato paste and add the diced tomatoes, stock, and the herb bundle then nestle the meat back into the braising liquid. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and then cook on very low simmer until the meat is tender and falls from the bone, about 3-5 hours. Remove the herb bundle and discard it.
  4. Remove the meat from the pot and cut the meat into pieces, discarding any fat or gristle, but saving the marrow bones for serving. Toss the spaghetti and squash with the braising liquid and pour onto a platter. Top the spaghetti with the pieces of meat and the marrow bones, then garnish with parsley and lemon zest before serving.


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