An Italian classic that is the very definition of comfort food, osso buco is all about rich flavors, tender meat that falls apart and that feeling of bliss that only special dishes bring. So, are you ready to make this all-time favorite Italian stew?
Your first taste of osso buco is one you’ll never forget. When made right (and it is easy to make) beef osso buco has that winning combination of buttery meat that tastes divine and a whole mix of fragrances and flavors in a sublime sauce that never fails to hit the spot. It’s a thing of simple beauty.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The beef just falls apart and melts in your mouth
- It’s comfort food at its finest
- Slow cooking makes for incredibly tender meat
- Even the kids will go bananas for it!
Equipment Needed To Make This Recipe
There are a few key items you’ll need to make this traditional osso buco recipe:
- Large casserole dish – go for a well-made, large casserole dish. A recipe this special deserves the best cooking pot, so go for something like a Dutch Oven
How To Make Osso Buco
Season the flour then dust the meat with it.
Brown the meat on all sides. Set aside.
Gently fry the vegetables for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the wine and passata. Let it sizzle for a few minutes. Add the browned shin.
Cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is fork tender. Enjoy!
What to Serve with Your Ossco Buco
You can serve osso buco with any of the following:
- In northern Italy, polenta is often served with a traditional osso buco recipe. When served warm, it has much the same texture as a mashed potato, making it perfect for scooping off that delicious beef osso buco sauce.
- You can’t go wrong with a side of mashed potatoes. Even better, try my homemade roasted garlic mashed potatoes or these creamy mousseline potatoes.
- You could also make a carrot and parsnip mash or even a butter bean mash.
- As an alternative, go for a celeriac gratin and these delicious honey roast parsnips.
- Slow cooker red cabbage is another delicious healthy side, as is this spectacular sous vide asparagus.
Let’s keep it Italian, shall we? Panna cotta or tiramisu are traditionally served in northern Italy, while a delicious Sicilian cannelloni would make for the perfect north/south pairing.
It’s got to be a deep red wine – the perfect pairing with this osso buco recipe! Keep it Italian and plump for a Nebbiolo. You’ll be in heaven!
Popular Substitutions For This Recipe
- You can use white wine in place of red wine. This is known as osso buco Milanese and makes for a lighter stew, with a cleaner aftertaste.
- If you’re not a fan of coriander, you can replace it with all kinds of herbs. My tip is to go for either rosemary, bay leaf, thyme or oregano, all of which work fantastically well with beef and tomato.
- You can replace passata with tinned tomotoes. However, add two tablespoons of tomato paste to get the right consistency.
- If you prefer, use olive oil instead of butter.
- If you don't have any celery, you can use one of these celery alternatives.
Variations To This Recipe
Traditionally, braised veal shanks are used but, as they're hard to come by in the UK, I’ve gone with beef shin. If you can find veal shanks and want to go authentic Italian, be my guest! You could also tweak this recipe in the following ways:
Pork osso buco
Although the traditional Italian osso buco is made from beef or veal shanks, there is an alternative. You can easily substitute the beef or veal shanks with pork shanks. Make sure to season well, as the pork shanks are not quite as rich in flavor as the beef shanks.
Osso buco Milanese
You can use white wine in place of red wine. This is known as osso buco Milanese and makes for a lighter stew, with a cleaner aftertaste.
Osso buco with pancetta
Braising veal shanks or beef shanks with pancetta brings some incredible richness to osso buco. I’ve gone without it for this recipe, as I think it’s rich enough. If you want to take things to another level, add pancetta to the pan with the meat and remove at the same time, before adding the vegetables.
A traditional osso buco recipe is often served with this Italian garnish. Gremolata is a mixture of parsley, garlic and lemon zest. The finely minced lemon zest brings a wonderful citric flavor. Sprinkle it on top of your osso buco.
How do I store leftovers?
The best way to store your beef leftover osso buco is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you want to store it long term, you can also freeze it.
How Long Will This Food Last In the Fridge?
When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, your osso buco leftovers will last for around 3 days.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, this dish will keep just fine when frozen.
To freeze osso buco leftovers, simply place in an airtight freezer safe container and place in the freezer. It will stay fresh for up to 4 months.
How do I Thaw This Dish?
As it’s a meat dish, osso buco needs to be defrosted in the fridge. Leave to thaw overnight
How do I Reheat This Dish?
Beef osso buco is best reheated in a casserole pot on the hob. Add a splash of liquid and stir the contents as it heats, until it’s piping hot.
Can this recipe be scaled?
Yes, this osso buco recipe can be scaled! You can double or treble the amounts below to make a large batch.
Can This Recipe be made in advance?
Yes, you can make osso bucco in advance. In fact, it’s even better the next day!
Once it’s cooked, allow it to cool and then place it in the fridge until you need it. When you’re ready to eat, remove any solidified fat. Then simply heat it though in the same pot, giving it a stir until it’s fully warmed.
Do I have to use beef shin for this recipe?
It doesn’t have to be beef shin – it can be pork or veal shank – but the bone is an important part of what makes this dish so delicious!
As it cooks, the rich marrow from the shin bone bastes the meat, keeping it soft and tender. It also infuses the sauce with incredible flavor.
What does ‘osso buco’ mean?
It translates into English as ‘marrowbone’ or more literally as ‘bone hole.’
Other Italian Recipes You’ll Love
Italian cuisine is an absolute joy, which is why I’ve tried my hand at so many Italian recipes over the years. Here are just a few of my favorites:
- Caprese salad – simple Italian cooking at its finest. It’s all about the fresh ingredients and the harmony between them. Simple, elegant and delicious
- Basic risotto – an Italian classic, this is one recipe you’ll want to learn and make again and again. Add parmesan and turn it into a risotto alla milanese
- Chicken cacciatore – otherwise known as hunter’s chicken, this is perfect winter comfort food with a blend of flavors that will make your taste buds tingle
- Courgette involtini – this beautiful little appetizers are sure to get the party started
- When using utensils with raw meat, always wash them thoroughly before using them with anything else
- Wash hands thoroughly after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for long periods
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove