Ossobuco alla Milanese (Braised Shin of Veal)

Ossobuco alla Milanese (Braised Shin of Veal)

As the weather gets colder we tend to eat more slow cooked or stewed meat dishes and Ossobuco all Milanese is a firm favourite.

This recipe makes use of Veal Shin which when ready will mealt in your mouth. Here is the recipe from Dino Joannides’s Semplice

“This classic Milanese dish is thought to have originated in the city’s restaurants during the 19th century. It uses a cut or thick slice from the veal shank, which, if not on display in your butcher’s, can usually be ordered on request.

Bizarrely, one of the best versions of this dish I have ever eaten was at Ribot, one of my favourite restaurants in Milan, which actually specializes in Tuscan food but has a few Lombardian daily specials. The meat they used was vitellone from Fassone cattle and had a much deeper flavour than usual. If you want to try this dish in its hometown and be certain it is on the menu, head to Antica Trattoria della Pesa, which first opened in 1880.

As always, there is much debate about the authentic recipe for ossobuco, such as whether or not it should include tomatoes or gremolata. More unusual is that it is the only example I can think of where a meat course is served with risotto. For that reason, when ordering it in a restaurant, it is advisable not to have a pasta or rice dish as a first course.

I always make enough ossobuco for eight people even when cooking for four because the leftovers are delicious. Slipped off the bone, the meat can be mixed into tagliatelle or used as a stuffed pasta filling. The latter is an idea first used by Giorgio Locatelli, I think, to wean ‘ladies who lunch’ on to ossobuco as they found the traditional way of serving it unappealing.”


150 g unsalted butter, plus extra for thickening if you wish
6–8 medium or large slices of veal shank at least 3.5 cm thick
2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
150 g chopped carrots
150 g celery, chopped
400 ml dry white wine
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons double-concentrated tomato purée
1 bay leaf
250ml veal stock
Risotto Milanese, to serve
(see page 126)

For the gremolata:

• finely grated zest of 1 Amalfi lemon
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Recipe Steps

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the veal.
Add the salt and pepper to taste, then transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, carrots and celery to the fat remaining in the casserole dish and fry over a high heat for 5–10 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.
Return the veal to the dish, placing it with the bones upright to prevent the marrow falling out.
Lower the heat and add the wine. When the alcohol has evaporated, carefully stir in the tomato purée and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the bay leaf, then taste and adjust the seasoning before adding the veal stock.
Cook for another 5 minutes over a high heat.
Cover the casserole and place in the oven for 2 hours.
The meat is ready when it simply comes off the bone with a fork.

To make the gremolata:

Just combine all the ingredients for it in a bowl and set aside for later.
Transfer the meat to a large serving dish or arrange on individual plates.
Using a wooden spoon, squash the vegetables remaining in the casserole dish to make a rough sauce, adding a little butter to thicken it if you wish.
Pour the sauce over the veal and sprinkle the gremolata on top.

Serve with the Risotto Milanese