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Osso Buco

July 30, 2020 • 0 comments

Osso Buco
Classic peasant cooking from Northern Italy. Fall-apart tender with incredible depth of flavor from an economy cut of meat. Easy one-pot cooking that includes loads of vegetables. Convenience of advance prep with options for oven, pressure cooker, or slow cooker.
  • Servings: 4-6 depending on amount of vegetables added


  • (3 lbs) Beef shanks
  • (2 Tablespoons) Bacon drippings (or olive oil)
  • (1, large chopped) Onion
  • (1, chopped) Carrot
  • (1, chopped) Celery
  • (1, chopped) Green Pepper
  • (6 cloves, minced) Garlic
  • (2 Tablespoons, fresh chopped) Thyme
  • (1 Tablespoon, dried) Oregano
  • (2 Tablespoons) Tomato Paste
  • (15 oz) Canned Chopped Tomatoes
  • (1/2 Cup) Olives, Green or Ripe, Pitted and Chopped
  • (1/2 cup) Stock (Chicken or Beef)
  • (1/2 Cup) Wine (Red or White)
  • (2 Tablespoons) Worcestershire Sauce
  • (1 Teaspoon) Ground black pepper
  • (1 Tablespoon) Fresh Lemon Zest
  • (1/2 Cup, chopped) Parsley
  • (1 Tablespoon) Cornstarch (optional thickener)


  1. Let shanks sit at room temperature for 30 min, pat dry.
  2. Heat oil to medium high and sear shanks in bacon drippings or olive oil, 3 minutes on each side or until crusting forms. Don't crowd in pan or they won't brown properly. Do one at a time if they are large. Set aside in bowl to capture any beef juice.
  3. Saute the Holy Trinity (onions, carrots, celery), 4 cloves of chopped garlic, and green pepper until onions are soft, scraping pan to loosen any bits of beef.  
  4. Stir in thyme, oregano, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, olives, stock, wine, Worcestershire Sauce, ground pepper, and any juice from browned shanks.
  5. Submerge beef shanks in vegetables and broth and cook in pressure cooker on high one hour, or in slow cooker 8 hours, or in dutch oven at 350*F for 4 hours.  
  6. Check meat - it should be off the bone and fall-apart tender. If not, cook a little longer.  
  7. Thicken broth if desired, by mixing corn starch with water, stirring into hot broth, and allowing to cool slightly.
  8. Prepare traditional Italian topping ("gremolata") by mincing remaining garlic cloves, mixing with lemon zest and parsley, and sprinkling mixture on top as served.

Additional Notes:  

  • This can be prepared ahead and reheated.  
  • This recipe produces a hearty, meaty dish. If you want to increase vegetable content, feel free to add onion, carrot, celery, pepper, olives, or tomatoes to taste. This will increase the moisture as well, but you can control how thin or thick the broth is by adjusting the cornstarch thickener. 
  • Feel free to adjust all seasoning to suit your preferences, but don't skip the gremolata - the combination of citrus and garlic really sets this beef dish apart.
  • We serve osso buco alongside cheesy grits, and make enough of the vegetables and broth mixture to ensure we can ladle them over the grits as well as the meat.
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