Osso Buco, the Milanese way

Gourmet Wog Osso Buco

One of my earliest food memories growing up was fighting over bones with my dad to see who would get to suck the most bone marrow. I love the sticky, gooey, hearty goodness that can be found in bones, and the way your fingers stick to each other after trying to pry out the marrow.

Osso Buco is a family favourite, especially on a chilly night when you fee like something heart warming. If you’re not already familiar with Osso Buco, the name literally translates to ‘Bone with a hole’ in Italian and refers to the cross-cut of lamb shank. It’s quite a fatty meat cut and deserves to be loved and braised slowly for a minimum of two hour for the meat to tenderise and fall off the bone.

Every Italian family would have their own version of a Osso Buco stew, however the one thing that most would agree on is traditionally no tomato is added to the broth. It should be quite a thin broth flavoured with wine and herbs.

Osso Buco. Serves 4

  • 2 kilo’s of Osso Buco cuts. This may seem like a lot for 4 people, however most of it are bones
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a cup of freshly picked oregano leaves
  • 2 glasses of red wine. Ok, make that three glasses, two for the pot and one for you. Or more, whatever! No judgement here 🙂
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Plain flour
  • 3 cloves garlic

Gourmet Wog Osso Buco


Dust the Osso Buco in flour to completely coat both sides and pan fry them in olive oil in a heavy bottom pan for a few minutes per side till golden brown. You may want to do this in turns if your pan isn’t large enough. Rest your Osso Buco on a clean plate while you pan fry the batches. Dont wash out the pan, all the brown sauce stuck to the pan is what you want to give a richness to your sauce.

In the same pot, panfry the onions till translucent. Add the sprigs of thyme, and saute the garlic till fragrant. Add the glass of wine and enough water to completely cover the meat and bones. Season with lots of sea salt and cracked pepper. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours. Go read your book, enjoy more wine, play with the kids or do some gardening. Return to the most delicious fragrance floating throughout the kitchen.

If you prefer the liquid to be a bit thicker, feel free to mix two tablespoons of corn flour/starch in a glass of cold water, mix well and add to the pot. Bring it to the boil to cook off the flour.

Add the peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Turn off the heat and stir in your fresh oregano leaves.

Fresh Oregano

Fresh Oregano

Serve with a bed of rice, mash, cous cous or polenta and enjoy with (another) glass of red. Be sure to give the marrow a go, you might just like it!

Osso Buco bone and marrow

Osso Buco bone and marrow



23 thoughts on “Osso Buco, the Milanese way

  1. I never knew that’s what the translation was. The weather is definitely turning towards warming dishes like this. I can imagine eating it curled in front of a fire!

  2. Osso bucco was a big favorite with my kids and `i used to make it once a year with real veal shanks and tomato; you are right though, this is the traditional way; it reminds me that in lebanon too, tomatoes were not part of the culinary landscape years ago, as they were unknown to the area.

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