The Best Osso Buco
The Best Osso Buco


“Osso Buco” means “hole of bone” because this marrow provides the rich flavor to the sauce. A marrow spoon, one of those long skinny spoons found in old sterling silverware sets, would come in handy with this dish, as the succulent shank marrow can be tricky to extract.


Ingredients for Osso Buco

    • 4 ounces pancetta, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
    • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds veal shanks (4 to 6 pieces 2 to 3 inches thick)
    • 1/2 cup diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
    • 1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch dice)
    • 1 medium onion (1/4 inch dice)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
    • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 1 to 2 cups chicken or veal stock
    • Flour for dusting the meat before browning
    • Salt and pepper


Ingredients for Gremolata

    • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced



Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Brown the pancetta:

    • Heat a Dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add pancetta to pan, cook, stirring occasionally.
    • When the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered (about 5 minutes of cooking), remove the pancetta to a plate covered with some paper towel and set aside.
    • If necessary, drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.


Dredge the shanks in flour, brown in pan:

    • Place the flour in a shallow bowl or deep plate.
    • Season the veal shank well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks with some flour, shake off any excess, and add the meat to the hot fat in the pan.
    • Increase the heat to medium high and cook the shanks on each side until well browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the shanks to a plate, set aside.


Sauté the onions, carrots, celery:

    • Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven.
    • Cook the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes) and toss in the garlic and thyme.
    • Continue cooking until the vegetables just begin to brown (about 10 minutes).


Return the shanks to pan, add wine and stock:

    • Add the shanks and the pancetta back to the pan. Pour in the wine and then add enough stock to come a little more than halfway up the sides of the shanks.
    • Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and put it in the oven to cook until the meat is tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Make the gremolata:

    • Combine the gremolata ingredients, place in a separate small serving dish.
    • Serve on top of risotto or polenta. Sprinkle with gremolata.



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