Originating in Milan, this dish is now a savoured winter recipe worldwide. The name comes from ossbus, Milanese for ‘bone with a hole’ – a reference to the flavoursome marrow inside the bone. The classic Italian osso buco is made using slices of veal shin. It can be hard to get true veal shin in Australian butchers sometimes, but beef shin is an okay substitute.






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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 kg osso buco
  • plain flour, to dust
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes
  • cooked polenta, to serve



  • 4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Dust osso buco with flour, shaking to remove excess. Working in batches, cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onions, celery and carrots to pan and cook for 10 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly golden. Return meat to pan, add bay leaves and wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add tomato and 400 ml water, cover and simmer for 1½ hours or until tender.

Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes or until meat is almost falling off the bone. The older the veal, the longer it will take.

Meanwhile to make gremolata, place parsley, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and mix to combine.

Stir half the gremolata into the osso buco sauce and bring back to the boil. Serve osso buco over polenta and with more gremolata sprinkled on top.


Photography by Alan Benson. Food preparation by Asher Gilding. Food styling by Michelle Crawford.


As seen in Feast magazine, August 2014, Issue 34.