Osso Bucco

  • Time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: medium

It’s the best of slow cooking – and it’s well worth the wait. The best part of osso bucco is the bone marrow.

I used British ‘rose’ veal from our local butchers CD Jennings and Sons. Veal has had a bad press in the past – but welfare standards have improved throughout Europe. British veal is worth supporting, the welfare standards are very high and supermarkets are now supporting more ethical and sustainable veal production. Check on the welfare status – some veal is indoor-reared and others are outdoor-reared, diet balance can be different with some veal milk-fed and other given feed (generally ‘rose’). The veal I have used here is outdoor-bred rose veal.

This is an Italian classic. Made with veal shin it is traditionally served with risotto Milanese and gremolata. It's possibly my favourite Italian dish.

What you need

4 -5 pieces of osso bucco (preferably British ‘rose’ veal) about 1 kg

2 medium onions

2 medium carrots

2 sticks of celery

6 medium cloves of garlic

185 ml white wine

500 ml chicken stock

400 ml tomato passata or 1 tin of chopped plum tomatoes

3 bay leaves

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 tsp dried oregano

Plain white flour

For the gremolata

Small bunch parsley

2 unwaxed lemons

1 clove garlic




How Dad Cooked It

Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4

Start to cook the tomatoes. Pour into a saucepan and simmer very gently on a back burner, stirring often. Add a little water if it gets too thick.

Prepare and fry the vegetables. Wash and chop the vegetables. Put into a cast iron casserole with a glug of olive oil. Finely chop 6 cloves of garlic and add to the vegetables. Fry for about 15 minutes, stirring continuously. Then add the stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile…

Brown the meat. Use a large nonstick frying pan. Put the pan on a medium-high heat and when hot add a couple good glugs of light olive oil. When hot add the meat and then let it brown without moving – use an ajar lid over the pan to stop splattering. Turn when browned and brown the other side. Scatter about 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour over the osso bucco and turn – scatter another tablespoon on the other side. Continue to brown the meat, just colouring the flour. Set the osso bucco aside on a plate. Add the wine to the pan and reduce, stirring to collect the residues from frying.

Assemble and cook the casserole. Place the osso bucco in the casserole, add the tomatoes and the thickened wine reduction. Add the herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer. With the lid ajar, place the casserole in the oven and turn the heat down to 140C, gas 1. Cook for 1 1/2 hours and then turn the heat to 110C, Gas 1/4 and cook for another hour or hour 1/2. Check the meat it should be very tender. Time the end of cooking and make a risotto Milanese (plain risotto using wine and chicken stock as usual with a good pinch of saffron. Finish with butter and Parmesan as usual). Serve with gremolata and sides of vegetables or salad if desired.

Gremolata. Chop a small bunch of parsley with the rind of two lemons and a grated garlic clove. Sprinkle this over the dish as a final garnish.



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