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    Veal Osso Bucco Recipe with Gremolata

    Published September 24, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    If you’re looking for a delicious weeknight meal that is full of comfort then be sure to try this Osso Bucco recipe made with veal and served with a traditional gremolata.

    veal osso bucco shanks in a bowl next to polenta and topped off with gremolata

    You already know by now that I’m a traditionalist so when it comes to making the classics I usually just leave them alone or throw a small twist on it, and the same goes for this Osso Bucco recipe.  It is traditionally made with veal, which can be hard to find and a little bit expensive.

    I haven’t made this dish in at least 10 years but man oh man is it just so comforting and good, and now that the weather is beginning to turn to fall I can’t think of a better recipe to make!

    What Is It

    Osso Buco is traditionally an Italian dish from Milan which transfers from Italian to English as, “marrowbone.”  You’ll notice when looking at raw there is a huge bone in the center with lots of marrow in it, which believe it or not is super good for you.

    Yes, I’m talking about the marrow!  Once you have your veal shank cut, you then sear it and braise it up with vegetables, beef stock, herbs, and white wine and then later traditionally serve it with a gremolata and over polenta.

    The most common way to braise it these days is with tomatoes, but back in the day you did not, rather you seasoned it with cinnamon, gremolata, and a bay leaf.  You may also have noticed that I made my recipe with red wine.

    Man, this is just one of those little twists that I like to put into my recipes because I feel it helps elevate the flavor.   I love white wine, don’t get me wrong, but the flavors of red wine, like the Sangiovese I used just provide another layer of depth of flavor to this recipe so honestly, it was no brainer to use it!

    veal osso bucco recipe with gremolata and creamy polenta in a bowl

    What Cut of Meat Is It

    Veal shank is the classic cut of meat used when making an Osso Bucco recipe and I have to admit they are kind of hard to find and pretty dang expensive.

    I thought about using a beef shank in this recipe, which is dirt cheap and literally is found at every local grocery store, but the traditionalist in me smacked me around and forced me to get out at 6 am to the local butcher shop to pick it up.

    What Is a Veal Shank

    Veal Shanks come from the shin part of the front and hind legs and are sliced to about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. Veal Shanks is a very lean tough cut of meat, although it comes from a young calf that is loaded with tender meat making it perfect for this recipe.

    Since they are a tough cut of meat, braising them is the best cooking method to help tenderize and infuse flavor into it, although veal has great flavor already.

    Is Osso Bucco the Same as Oxtail

    No, it is not the same as oxtail, however, when using oxtail you would refer to it as “oxtail Osso Bucco.”  Oxtails are literally the meat that comes from a cow’s tail, although back in the day they came from an ox.  It uses the shin shank of a calf and is the traditional cut.

    braised veal osso bucco shanks with herbs and polenta

    What Is It Served With

    Once your recipe is finished braising and the meat is pulling away from the bone it is time to serve it up!  Traditionally it’s served up with:

    Osso Bucco is also classically served up with a gremolata!

    What Is Gremolata

    Gremolata is not only a really fun word to say, but it’s also actually a pretty tasty little garnish consisting of salt, lemon zest, parsley, and olive oil all chopped together until it is almost like a sauce.

    Gremolata traditionally is served over Osso Bucco.  Honestly, it looks like it could be a chimichurri for all intents and purposes.  It is super good, and I’ve made several variations of it myself it provides such a cool garnish to whatever it is you’re cooking.

    To make a Gremolata, simply mix together the chopped parsley, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl and set aside until serving time.

    How to Make Osso Bucco

    1.  Add the flour to a bowl or a plate and season it very well with salt and pepper.
    2. Dredge the veal shanks on all sides in the flour and set aside.
    3. Next, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the veal shanks until they are golden brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.  This is the most important part of ensuring you have a deep brown on the outside of your veal.
    step by step procedures for searing osso bucco
    4. Remove the veal shanks and add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes before mixing in the tomato paste.  The tomato paste is used to help darken and thicken the braising liquid.
    5. Cook for 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and then deglaze with the wine followed up by adding in the beef stock, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and salt.  Make sure the liquid is seasoned very well.
    6. Add the veal shanks back in the pot, submerge them, place a cover of the pot and cook in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until very tender and easily removes from the bone.
    step by step procedures for cooking osso bucco

    Reheat and Storage

    How to Reheat: To reheat it, add your desired portion with braising liquid and vegetables to a small saucepot and heat over low heat until hot.   You can also simply add your desired portion to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 2:30 stirring after 1:15.

    Storing and Freezing:  It will hold well in the refrigerator covered up for up to 5 days.  It will also freeze well covered for up to 3 months.  Simply pull it out as you need it and reheat following the directions above.

    creamy yellow polenta with veal shanks

    More Italian Recipes

    If you love this recipe then I’m positive you will love these other classic Italian Recipes.

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Veal Osso Bucco Recipe with Gremolata

    5 from 2 votes
    If you are looking for a delicious weeknight meal then be sure to try this Osso Bucco recipe served with a traditional gremolata and polenta.
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 2 hours
    Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Osso Bucco:

    • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 4 8- ounce veal shanks
    • 2 tablepoons of olive oil
    • 1 peeled and large diced yellow onion
    • 1 peeled and large diced carrot
    • 2 peeled and large diced celery stalks
    • 6-8 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
    • 3 cups of roughly sliced assorted tomatoes
    • 2 cups of red wine, Sangiovese or Barolo
    • 4 cups of beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
    • 20 to 25 fresh thyme sprigs
    • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    For the Gremolata:

    • 2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh Italian parsley
    • zest of 2 lemons
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    • sea salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 325°.
    • Add the flour to a bowl or a plate and season it very well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks on all sides in the flour and set aside.
    • Next, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the veal shanks until they are golden brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
    • Remove the veal shanks and add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes before mixing in the tomato paste.  
    • Cook for 2 minutes, add the tomatoes and then deglaze with the wine followed up by adding in the beef stock, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and salt. Note: Make sure the liquid is seasoned very well.
    • Add the veal shanks back in the pot, submerge them, place a cover of the pot and cook in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until very tender and easily removes from the bone.
    • Gremolata: Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until serving time.
    • To Serve: Serve the Osso Bucco and some of the sauce over top risotto or polenta and add the gremolata to the top of the veal shanks.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Since they are a tough cut of meat, braising them is the best cooking method to help tenderize and infuse flavor into it, although veal has great flavor already.
     
    • Searing is the most important part to ensuring you have a deep brown on the outside of your veal. 
     
    • The tomato paste is used to help darken and thicken the braising liquid.
     
    • Make sure the braising liquid is seasoned very well.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 27gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 637mgPotassium: 1391mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 4028IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 5mg
    Course: Main
    Cuisine: Italian
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi