Ossobuco Alla Milanese Recipe

Ossobuco is one of the best known Italian dishes. Ossobuco refers to veal shank, a succulent piece of meat surrounding a wide marrow-filled bone. The shank is cross cut and then braised in a rich tomato ragout for hours until the meat is falling off the bone. Ossobuco is usually associated with the city of Milan in Lombardy where the preparation is thought to have been born in one of the many osterie, neighborhood bar-restaurants that cater mostly to locals in big cities. So well known is ossobuco, in fact, that today many English speakers use the word “ossobuco” to refer to veal shank. Once the shank has stewed for a long time, an aromatic mixture called a gremolada made of finely chopped lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and anchovies is stirred into the ragout. This seasoning is what elevates ossobuco to its glories. Then for the final treat one digs the marrow of the center bone out with a long-handled little spoon made just for this task. Ossobuco is traditionally served with risotto alla Milanese, saffron risotto. Each shank cut should be about 4-inches in diameter and 2-inches thick.
Ossobuco Alla Milanese picture


CourseMain Ingredient


 Unsalted butter7 Tablespoon
 Veal shank3 Pound (6 Slices)
 All-purpose flour1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Unbleached, For Dredging)
 Dry white wine1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
 Ripe tomatoes1 Pound, peeled, seeded, and chopped
 Ground black pepper To Taste
 Garlic1 Clove (5 gm), finely chopped
 Lemon zest1⁄2 , grated
 Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves4
 Salted anchovy fillets2 , rinsed
 Salt To Taste


1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, dredge the veal in the flour, patting off any excess. Once the butter has stopped sizzling, brown the veal shanks on both sides, about 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue cooking until the wine is nearly evaporated, about another 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the skillet to pick up any bits. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and turn the veal a few times to mix. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook until the meat is nearly falling off the bone, about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, and anchovies. Add the seasoning mixture to the skillet and turn the veal and stir the ragout several times to distribute the flavors. Serve immediately.

Image and Recipe © Clifford A. Wright

This recipe is excerpted from the book Real Stew by Clifford A. Wright. For more information or to purchase the book, please visit CliffordAWright.Com