Traditional Osso Buco

Nostalgic, heartwarming slow food. The recipe for Osso Buco is very easy to make, requiring only some patience with the cooking time.

Osso Buco translates to “Bone with the Hole” and originates from Milan. They key ingredient is the cross cut of a veal shank which is super tasty as it readily absorbs all the flavours of the accompanying herbs and vegetables.

I’ve added potatoes to this recipe, but you might prefer to serve the Osso Buco with Risotto Milanese (made with saffron) or some crusty bread.

Feel free to increase the quantities so that you have left overs. It’s even more delicious served the next day.  This recipe serves 4.

You will need:

1 kg veal Osso Buco

4 tablespoons plain flour

salt & pepper

4-5 tbsp olive oil

1 large brown onion

2 anchovies

1/2 cup white wine

1 clove garlic

2 large carrots, cut in chunks

6 mushrooms, sliced

1 red capsicum, skin removed *

1/2 cup olives in brine

2 tbs capers in vinegar

2 bay leaves

few sprigs thyme

small bunch parsley

1 stick celery

4 medium sized potatoes (optional)

1/2 can chopped tomatoes or 3/4 cup tomato passata

2 cups water or chicken stock or water with stock cubes

* note: I like to char the capsicum under the grill to remove their skins (see char grilled capsicum)


Season the meat with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.

Using a heavy based pan, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, and brown the meat on both sides on high heat.

Turn down the heat. Move the meat to one side of the pan. Add a drizzle of oil to the empty side of the pan and add the chopped onions and anchovies. Allow the onions to sauté gently, without browning.  The anchovies should dissolve and become pasty in the cooking oil.

Once the onions are transparent, add the garlic and turn up the heat until you hear a sizzling sound. Pour in the wine. Allow a few seconds to deglaze the pan, using your spoon to move the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add your carrots, celery, tomato, mushrooms, capsicum, olives, stock water, bay leaves, thyme and capers.


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Cover and simmer gently for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the chopped parsley and potatoes and continue cooking for 1 hour. At this stage, check the amount of liquid in the pan. If the pan still contains a lot of liquid, leave the pan partially covered so the liquid can evaporate. If the sauce is quite dry, you may need to add some extra water.

During the last hour of cooking, you will need to occasionally move the contents of the pot around to prevent the thick sauce from sticking.

Buon Appetito!


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