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A close up of a piece of osso buco being lifted from the white pot with the rest of the osso buco.
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Osso Buco con Gremolata

Osso Buco is a delicious traditional Italian meal. You can substitute beef shanks if you prefer, but don't use any butter in the browning. The beef shanks are fattier than veal so you won't need the butter. Also, since beef shanks are larger, I can only fit four in my pan.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Active Stove Time40 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, veal
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gremolata, Osso Buco
Servings: 8 people
Author: Anna

Special Equipment

  • Dutch Oven - I use my 7 quart and can fit 8 veal shanks
  • Cheese cloth


  • 8 1½" to 2" thick tied veal shanks, should be about 10 to 12 ounces each. Have your butcher tie them to make your life easier.
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups diced onion, about 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds of plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, OR 28-ounce can of diced plum tomatoes, drained. I have used canned tomatoes several times with Gr8 results.
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken or beef broth


  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • Heat the oven to 325°F.
  • Put the flour into a shallow dish (I use a pie plate) and mix in the salt and pepper. Pat the veal dry with a paper towel and dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
  • On medium-high heat, heat a Dutch oven(large enough to hold all the shanks), melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add 4 of the shanks and brown both sides, turning only once. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes total. (Timing will depend on the type of pot and your stove, see note.)
  • Transfer to a dish that will catch any released juices. Wipe out the pot with paper towels and add the remaining butter and olive oil. Melt over medium-high heat and brown the remaining meat, as in Step 3. Remove veal to the dish with the other 4 shanks.
  • Add the wine to the pot, bring mixture to a boil and let it reduce to about ⅓ cup, scraping up the bits and pieces from the pan as it boils. This should take about 8 - 10 minutes. (Again, depending on your pot.)
  • While the mixture is reducing tie the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme in some cheesecloth and set aside.
    Sprigs of parsley and thyme with a bay leaf on top of a piece of cheesecloth.
  • Once the wine is reduced add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until the onion is translucent.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and the nutmeg. (I know, nutmeg sounds strange, but it adds lovely hint of flavor.)
  • Put the browned shanks back into the pot along with any accumulated juices, nestling the veal down into the vegetables, then nestle the herb bundle in. Add enough broth to reach about ¾ of the way up the shanks.
  • Cover and place in the oven, until the meat begins to come away from the bone, 1½ to 2½ hours. If you don't have a Dutch oven that is oven safe, you can also braise this on low heat on your stove. Again, the timing depends on the pot you are using.
  • Add broth occasionally, if needed.
  • Serve over polenta, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with gremolata.


  • Mix together the lemon zest, chopped parsley, and garlic. In Italy this is a commonly used condiment. It adds a lovely brightness.


Gr8 Do-Ahead Tip:
After braising is complete, remove from oven and cool at room temp for about 1 ½ hours. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days. When ready to serve, remove the solidified fat that will have risen to the top. Let sit out for about an hour to take the chill off and reheat in a 325º F oven for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
The first few times I made this, I used my All-Clad stainless steel Dutch oven. Now that I have an enameled cast iron Dutch oven I use that. Everything about this dish takes a little longer in the stainless steel pot. Because an enameled cast iron pot holds and conducts heat better, the cooking goes faster.
Gremolata is an Italian condiment traditionally served over braised meats. But try rubbing it with oil on fish before grilling, or sprinkling over sautéed vegetables.
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