Osso Bucco Beef – Italian Braised Beef Shanks

osso bucco beef
Osso Bucco Beef

Osso Bucco Beef Shanks has to be one of the all-time great braises. Meaty shanks browned and simmered in a rich sauce of tomatoes, soffritto, garlic, wine and aromatics served with our amazing Cheat’s Risotto Milanese then sprinkled with a fresh and zesty parsley, lemon zest and garlic gremolata and you’re in comfort food heaven.

Osso Bucco Beef relies on slow cooking for its rich flavour and tender melt-in-your-mouth meat. We love to braise this recipe in the oven but of course, you could use your slow cooker and achieve the same wonderful results.

At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Osso Bucco Beef

ingredients to make Osso Bucco Beef


brown onions
beef stock
tomato paste
tinned tomatoes
salt and pepper

Shopping List

fresh thyme
beef shank pieces

Our Osso Bucco Beef is exactly the sort of dish we turn to when the weather turns all cold and bleak. You just want to stay at home and have a hearty meal cooking away in the oven and scenting the house with the promise of a delicious meal coming up.

Step By Step – How to Make Osso Bucco Beef

What Is Osso Bucco Meat?

Osso bucco is a cross-cut of beef from the hind shank. This part of the animal produces a ring of meat from the shin that is the most tender and sweetest on the entire animal.

Osso Bucco is quite literally known as ‘hollow bones’ or, ‘bones with holes’ and they’re actually not hollow at all, enclosing a delicious, rich marrow, which is highly prized for the lucky diners.

You’ll not get much more than a teaspoon or so from each piece, but for some it’s the absolute prize.

Osso Bucco is an extremely popular cut of meat in the Winter months. None out of ten times what is called Osso Bucco will likely be beef, not veal. Not that it matters it’s just that the classic Osso Bucco recipe calls for veal shanks.

In Australia, it’s difficult to buy veal, especially from a supermarket. You would need to source a good quality specialist butcher and typically, it’s expensive.

“Hot Tip”

4 osso buco pieces on a white plate to make Osso Buco with Gremolata

Whether it’s veal or beef the most important thing to look for is the ‘marbling’, that is the creamy looking connective tissue that’s spread throughout the meat. This breaks down when cooked and keeps the meat very moist, and fork tender.

If we can’t find Osso Bucco with this marbling we make something different, as experience has taught us that no marbling equals drier meat, and we definitely don’t want that.

Cooking Osso Bucco

First up saute off the ‘soffritto’ which is the Italian term for the holy trinity of onions, carrot and celery in the butter and oil. The aim is to gently saute, and not brown the soffritto and then add the garlic and anchovies and saute for a couple more minutes.

Once you’ve sautĂ©ed the soffritto you pop the mixture into a large baking dish then add a little more oil into the frypan and fry the veal/beef pieces till browned on both sides.

Remove the browned veal/beef pieces and place on top of the soffritto.

Deglaze the frypan with the wine, scraping up any bits of caramelization. Pour in the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, thyme and seasonings. Give it all a good mix and pour it over the Osso Bucco, covering with baking paper and foil.

The oven takes over the cooking for the next couple of hours or so, and you are then about to eat one of the tastiest dishes of all time.

What if I Don’t Like Anchovies?

Trust us that even if the thought of eating anchovies makes you want to gag you have to put them in this classic Italian braised dish. We promise you won’t taste them individually. What happens is the anchovies melt into the sauce introducing an incredible umami flavour that’s not fishy at all but adds a remarkable flavour to the ultimately delicious sauce. Believe us!

Gremolata and Osso Bucco Beef are Made to go Together…… in our humble opinion!đŸ„°

If you’ve never added a sprinkling of fresh Gremolata onto braises or casseroles before, prepare yourself for this zesty Italian herb accompaniment. The combination of chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic is fantastic on any meats or fish and we especially love the combination of Osso Bucco with Gremolata.

The sharpness of raw garlic paired with lemon zest’s slight bitterness tossed through a good amount of freshly chopped parsley makes gremolata a perfect topping for cutting through the heaviness of meats and stews.

Gremolata really finishes the Osso Bucco dish off and absolutely boosts the flavour department. Do yourself a flavour favour and sprinkle some onto your next casserole, or grilled fish for a real boost of flavour.

Osso Buco with Gremolata

Prepare Your Osso Bucco Ahead

Osso Bucco Beef can be prepared a couple of days ahead of cooking. Just brown off your meat and prepare the sauce, cover with baking paper and foil, then refrigerate, and bake when you’re ready. Too easy!

Leftover Sauce

We love the fact that there always seems to be leftover sauce when making Osso Bucco as it’s absolutely delicious. Try serving it onto some pasta, or served on toasted sourdough with a poached egg. Remember to accentuate the flavours by making some Gremolata to really lift the leftover sauce.

Can I Freeze Osso Bucco?

Osso Bucco freezes extremely well. Allow the braise to completely cool and spoon into a suitable container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Watch How To Make Osso Bucco Beef

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Don’t forget to let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Osso Bucco Beef in the comments below. đŸ˜€

Osso Bucco Beef - Italian Braised Beef Shanks
Yield: 8 serves

Osso Bucco Beef - Italian Braised Beef Shanks

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Osso Bucco is an absolute classic Italian braised veal shanks with a rich tomato sauce served with risotto or mashed potatoes. Topped with a fresh parsley Gremolata it is truly an outstanding recipe.


Soffritto iIngredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 6 anchovy fillets, roughy chopped
  • 6 fat cloves of garlic, minced


  • 8 large pieces of veal or beef shank
  • plain (all purpose) flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper, to dust veal

Wine Sauce

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 500ml  beef stock (1 pint) - we used 2 oxo beef cubes
  • 2 x 400g tins of diced tomatoes (2 x 14 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly milled black pepper to taste
  • 3 strips of lemon rind 

Gremolata - optional, but well worth making

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped


  • heat butter and oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat
  • add onion, carrot celery, and sauté for a few minutes
    add garlic and anchovy and continue to sauté for a further 2-3 minutes (we’re not looking to brown the vegetables, only to soften them)
  • place flour, salt and pepper into a plastic bag and lightly flour the veal pieces
  • transfer onion, carrot and celery mixture to a large baking dish and spread the soffritto out evenly on the base
  • using the same frypan add a little more oil and brown veal on both sides (you will probably have to do this in several batches)
  • put browned veal pieces on top of the soffritto in the baking tin
  • preheat oven to 175c (345f)
  • add the wine sauce ingredients, red wine, stock, thyme, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, lemon rind, salt and pepper to the frying pan 
  • stir to release the caramelised bits on the base of the pan
  • pour the wine sauce from the frying pan over the meat and vegetables
  • cover with baking paper, then tightly cover with foil
  • bake on middle shelf for 1 1/2 hours
  • remove pan from oven and turn veal pieces over, then recover with baking paper and foil
  • return to oven for about an hour or until the veal is fork tender
  • serve on risotto, polenta or mashed potatoes with gremolata sprinkled on top
  • enjoy!


  • mix all ingredients together


  • leftover sauce is fabulous served over some pasta
  • osso bucco freezes well

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 337Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 69mgSodium 771mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 5gSugar 6gProtein 20g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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