Ossobuco is a traditional dish from Milan, and although some recipes may have tomato included, the original recipe is made without, and this is how I make mine. Ossobuco translates as ‘bone with a hole’ and it is cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, (carrot, celery & onion) white wine and broth.   I made sure I went to a good butcher because I’d rather spend more and know I’m getting good meat than have the disappointment of preparing and cooking something for hours and discovering it to be tough like a piece of leather!  I love this recipe because, if cooked properly, the meat is fall off the bone tender and so flavoursome.  It is a great ‘comfort food’ dish, especially served with creamy mashed potatoes or soft polenta, although traditionally it is served with risotto ‘alla milanese’.  This recipe isn’t difficult and I let it slow cook in the oven for a couple of hours.


You can read many recipes online, they may vary a little but basically the procedure is the same.


  • 1 Cup plain flour
  • salt, pepper
  • 8 veal osso buco
  • 65ml olive oil (generous splash)
  • knob of butter (about 50g)
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves if you choose to add garlic
  • 250ml white wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 2 sprigs of thyme


  1. Using kitchen scissors, snip the membrane that surrounds each piece of veal in 3 or 4 places on each piece.  This prevents the veal curling up while it is cooking and ensures they remain nice and flat.
  2. Season a cup of flour with salt and pepper and coat each piece of veal with the seasoned flour, shake off excess and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil and butter in a large frypan, and add the veal, cooking each piece on either side until golden brown.  Repeat until all veal pieces are browned and set aside in a large baking dish.
  4. Add finely chopped onion, carrot and celery to the frypan and cook until onion softens.  (You would also normally add garlic but as there is a garlic allergy in the house, I omitted it). Add  white wine and beef stock and bring to the boil.  Pour over veal in baking dish, add thyme,  cover with foil and cook for two hours at 160°C.  I sometimes turn veal over once during the cooking time, but often I don’t.
  5. Ossobuco can be served with a gremolata sprinkled on top. To make this, mix together 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 3 teaspoons lemon zest & 1 garlic clove finely chopped. (I rarely add this, although sometimes I have sprinkled just the zest and parsley over each plate just before serving).

Tonight we had pavlova as dessert, topped with raspberries, blueberries and passionfruit. (Obviously I’m sitting here with a fully belly), and I promise to add that recipe ASAP!