Ossobuco Alla Milanese

3 Apr

As you may have noticed, I am back on my blog…. The past 2 years have been sort of hectic with the pregnancy and the arrival of the twins in our lives! The new bottles-nappies rhythm kept me more or less out of the kitchen for a while and for the few new recipes I was able to try, I either did not have time to take pictures or time to write a post!

But here I am, back to work: whisking, frying, baking and having lots of fun trying new recipes! And as I looked at my Index of Recipes, I just realized that there was not that much meat recipes… not that I am a Vegetarian now but just that I am having more interest in sweets and vegetables… Anyway, I want to offer a wide range of choices and to do so, I am trying different techniques including meat!

I choose Ossobuco because it’s not a common piece of meat but also because it’s one of the recipe that we learned at the Cookery School when we had to braise meat and it seemed to be so complicated at that time that I wanted to give it another try….

To our old fashion school recipe I preferred The River Cafe Classic Italian Cookbook recipe which is easier and very tasty. Also in that recipe they are using veal shin which is much better but also more expensive than the tail….!

By the way, if you did not have the opportunity to go to that restaurant…. it’s really worth it! We went there with my husband on a sunny weekday in April 2 years ago and we had a lovely time on the quiet terrace, a few steps from the Thames River walk. The fish is fresh and delicate, as well as the meat, the dressings are well balanced, the puddings are the final great touch. This is a feel-good place not a presumptuous one. Only one advice…. book in advance!

Ingredients for 6 people

  • 6 pieces of veal shin – 2-3 cm thick
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Plain flour
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 120g of butter
  • 1 small red onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery heart peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 a bottle of white wine
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes (400g) drained of juice and coarsely chopped

Ingredients for the Gremolata

  • 2 lemon zest finely grated
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 handful of flat leaf parsley chopped


Preheat your oven to 150°.

First of all choose a heavy-bottom ovenproof pan or have a deep tray at hand in which the pieces of veal will fit in one layer.

Prepare all your garnish and set aside.

Season the veal with salt and pepper on both faces and dust with the flour. Shake off the excess of flour and reserve on a tray.

Heat the oil in the pan and brown the meat over medium-high heat just to sear the pieces on both sides.

If the pieces don’t fit in your pan, brown them into 2-3 batches. If you put too many pieces, it will not brown properly and if you have a pan too large, you may burn the oil. Just be careful to use the right pan…!

Remove the pieces from the pan and set aside on a tray.

Wipe the pan and put it back on medium-low heat, add the butter and gently fry the onion, celery and garlic until they get very soft (10-15 min). Don’t forget to stir from time to time.

Once they are soft, cover with the wine and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently until it reduces by half.

If the pan is big enough, place the pieces of meat back on top of the vegetables with the bones upright so that the marrow cannot fall out while cooking.

If you cook for a large number, spread the veg on a deep cooking tray and place the pieces of meat on top.

Add the thyme, bay leaves and chopped tomatoes on top. The liquid in the pan should come halfway up the pieces of veal.

If it doesn’t, add more wine and for the tray, add more wine and water and keep an eye on the level of liquid while cooking. If needed, repeat the same process, add more wine and water.

Bring to a boil then cover with a cartouche (parchment paper cut to fit inside your pan or tray with a hole in the center to release the steam) and the lid.

For the tray, you may put a serving spoon on top of the parchment paper if your oven has a fan as it will prevent it from flying away.

Cook for 2-2.30 hours in the lower part of the oven and check regularly that the liquid is gently simmering.

While that time, prepare the Gremolata: grate the lemon zest, chop the parsley and the garlic and combine them together and reserve in a bowl until serving.

As a result, the meat is not chewy but very tender and falls from the bone. You don’t even need a knife to eat it.

Serve the veal with the sauce and the vegetables from the pan and sprinkle the Gremolata on top.

One Response to “Ossobuco Alla Milanese”

  1. Baking with Sibella April 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Absolutely wonderful dish! I wish this was for dinner at my house tonight! 🙂

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