“Ossobuco alla Milanese”

“Ossobuco alla Milanese”


Hmmmm, my mouth starts to water just to think of it!

Ossobuco is a Milanese dish and I have always been really good with this dish. The name means “bone with a hole” or “hollowed bone”. This refers to the veal shank bone with a large and tasty marrow filling. At the end, this dish is garnished with a “cremolata”, consisting of a mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, anchovies and grated lemon peel.

Ossobuco’s traditional partner is Risotto alla Milanese (see recipe above). A truly superb dish.


For the meat:
4 veal shanks, 250-300 g (8-10 oz) each
1 small carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small onion
All-purpose flour, for dredging
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of meat broth (see recipe above)
¾ cup dry white wine (nonsparkling)
5 cm (1 tablespoon)tomato paste (concentrate)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste

For the cremolata:
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Chopped anchovies (if you like them)


First, score the tough membrane that encircles the meat at least in 4–5 different places, to prevent the edge from rolling up and preventing it from remaining flat while cooking. Then dredge the veal shanks in the flour.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet (best to use a copper or aluminium one) over medium to medium–high heat. Finely dice the onion, carrot and celery, add it in the pan and saute until golden. Take the vegetables out of the pan and add the veal, and brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, pour in the wine and let it evaporate. Dilute the tomato paste into the warm broth and add it to the meat together with the cooked vegetables.

Cover, and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours, basting the veal every 15 minutes or so. If necessary, add a little bit of broth while cooking.

While the ossobuco is braising, prepare the “cremolata”: In a small bowl, mix together the minced parsley, the garlic, the lemon zest, and the anchovies. Mix into the veal just before finishing the cooking.


Definitely serve with risotto (I highly recommend Risotto alla Milanese!), but it is also excellent with polenta or peas and white rice!

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