Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Ossobuco Alla Milanese – Milanese Braised Veal Shanks

Ossobuco alla Milanese or simply OssobucoOssibuchi as plural, one of the staples of Milanese cuisine, a tipycal winter dish. Basically it is slices of veal cut rather thickly with the marrow and muscle flaps attached around then cooked in butter and stewed in meat broth.

The meat-cut traditionally used is veal, however can easily be swapped with beef, as long as one keeps in mind that the beef will have a more strong and intense flavour. Veal, however, is more tender.

Often garnished at the end with Gremolada or Gremolata, namely a green sauce made with chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. It’s typically served with Milanese Saffron Risotto Milanese Saffron Risotto and this combination makes it a unique dish in which first and second courses are served together. If not served with risotto, it is served with stewed peas, mashed potatoes or more frequently with polenta.

Serves: 2 | Preparation: 20 mins | Cooking : approx. 1 hour

  • Ossibuchi / Veal shanks: 2 (about 300 g each)
  • Butter, unsalted: 40 g
  • Soffritto: chopped celery, onion, carrot
  • Parsley, fresh: 1 sprig
  • Lemon zest, to taste
  • White dry wine: 50 ml
  • Hot meat broth: 150 ml
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): 2 tablespoons
  • White flour: as needed
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


Prepare the Gremolada by chopping finely parsley with garlic, add lemon zest, mix and set aside.

Make soffritto, namely finely dice onion, celery and carrot. 

Tip: It is always better to beat the meat with a meat pounder before cooking it, mostly make incisions with a sharp knife or scissors on its sides in order to prevent it from curling during cooking.

Lightly flour the veal shanks on both sides.

Warm up 2 tbsp of EVOO in a frying pan, add butter and once it has melted lightly brown the soffritto. Place the floured ossibuchi in the pan and brown them on both sides over a medium-high heat for a couple of mins, add the white dry wine and let it evaporate.

Now add the hot broth without covering the meat, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 30 minutes over a low flame covered with the lid.
After this time, flip the veal shanks over and cook them on the other side with the lid on for another 15-20 minutes, basting the meat with the gravy.
Turn off the heat and add the previously prepared gremolada, distributing it in the pan and basting the meat with the gravy in the pan once again.

Serve ossibuchi traditionally with Risotto alla Milanese otherwise with polenta or with stewed peas.


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