top of page

When Near Milan - Ossobuco It!

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Serves: 4

Ossobuco translates to “hole of bone” and is a Milanese specialty. Therefore, when near Milano, I had to make this recipe which is known as comfort food in this region. We use cross-cut veal shanks which are braised with veggies, white wine and broth. Garnished with a gremolata and served on a bed of rice or polenta. The marrow in the hole of the bone is the prized delicacy and is the defining feature of this dish as it adds amazing flavour.

Because the shank is a tough meat, it is braised in wine and broth for several hours on simmer. Therefore, this is not a quick meal, but truly is worth the effort. In Italy it is very easy to find this veal shank but at home in Canada, we would have to go to the butcher and order it.


2 tbsp olive oil

6 cross-cut veal shanks

Garlic salt or salt and pepper to taste

½ cup flour

1 cup diced onion

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup diced celery

2 finely chopped garlic cloves

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup white wine

2 - 3 cups chicken broth

2 tbsp flour

¼ cup water

½ cup chopped parsley

Zest of one lemon

2 minced garlic cloves

250 grams instant dry polenta


Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in skillet and season meat to your liking

  2. Dredge each side and edges of shank with flour and add to pan

  3. Cook for five minutes on each side and remove from pan, set aside

  4. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic into pan and sauté for five minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent

  5. Stir in thyme, rosemary, pepper flakes and 1 more tbsp olive oil and cook until veggies start to get brown

  6. Return shanks to pan and pour in wine and enough broth so liquid comes to just over halfway up the sides of shank

  7. Bring to a boil then lower temperature to a simmer and cover pan

  8. Stir every 15 minutes and cook until meat is tender but not falling off the bone. About 2 to 3 hours

  9. Once meat is cooked remove meat from pan and set aside

  10. Place 2 tbsp flour in a bowl and stir in water until no longer lumpy, add a little of hot sauce from pan into bowl and mix well

  11. Pour in flour/water mixture into pan to thicken sauce up a bit

  12. Once sauce has thickened place meat back into sauce and mix well

  13. For gremolata combine parley, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl and stir into pan when you are ready to serve the ossobuco

  14. Follow directions on polenta package on how much water to use for 250 grams of dry polenta (you can use rice if you prefer)

  15. Place water and salt in medium saucepan and once water starts to boil, slowly pour in dry polenta and stir quickly so that the polenta doesn’t get lumpy

  16. Cook for as long as the package tells you. Mine said to cook and stir for 8 minutes

  17. Once polenta is cooked add as much parmesan cheese you like

  18. Scoop up a cup of polenta on a plate and add one veal shank and some sauce over the polenta

I served with Insalata Mista (mixed salad), bread and a good glass of vino


bottom of page