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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.
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!
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.
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
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.
More Italian Recipes
If you love this recipe then I’m positive you will love these other classic Italian Recipes.
- Ribollita Soup Recipe
- Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe
- Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
- Classic Lasagna Bolognese Recipe
Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!
Veal Osso Bucco Recipe with Gremolata
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
- 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.
- 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.
Yesterday, my wife said she was in the mood for Osso Bucco. I have been making it for years. Unfortunately I did not have any veal shanks but I did have beef shanks in the freezer so I defrosted them. Instead of using the recipe I used for years, I used Billy’s. I did not say anything to the wife.
Tasting it she said, “what did you do?” Concerned I said “why”. She said, ‘I don’t know what you did but this is the best ever”. I could not agree more.
The only thing I did was that was different then Billy’s recipe was I, pardon the expression, beefed up the wine, stock, and thyme since beef is a little more intense taste then veal. I do intend to find some veal and give that a try.
I took the remaining liquid, separated the fat from it, and put it over Orzo as an accompaniment.
I have made this recipe. I used elk shank. It was amazing.
Can you sub in beef instead of veal and follow the same cook time? I have beef osso bucco not veal.
Should be fine.
Is the preparation of the polenta explained in another video? I’m not too familiar with polenta, but I do like it, especially when it has a creamy consistency. Also, why won’t you eat the marrow?
yes, search for my polenta recipe.
This was a fantastic recipe. I let the Osso Bucco slow braise for around 2 1/2 hours and it was falling apart tender. I served it over your polenta recipe and it was the perfect combination.
I had this for the first time at a place in NJ called Chick and Nello’s in 1999. We pulled into the parking lot and noticed that it was filled with pristine old Caddilacs and Lincolns. Inside, it was like Sunday night dinner at your Italian grandmother’s. The food was incredible. I’m going to try your recipe soon, Billy. Thanks!
I imagine the recipe would stay the same if you substitute with beef? I just can’t bring myself to eat veal…
Yes it would!
About those tomatoes? Were they blanched and peeled? When did you add them as it does not mention them in the instructions?
fresh tomatoes un peeled. Add right after the tomato paste. Check out the how to video!
What did you do with all the extra liquid? Lots of sauce but I don’t see you serving it!
It’s in there. For pictures sake I didn’t want to smother the osso bucco with it.