Osso Buco alla Milanese -- Veal Shanks, Milan Style




1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
Lemon peel
2 full veal shanks, cut into 2 inch wide pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3/4 cup dry white wine
3-1/4 cup beef broth or
1 lb. Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and cut coarsely
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. crushed basil
1/2 tsp. crushed thyme
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste


Have your butcher cut the veal shanks crosswise, about 2 inches thick each, so that the whole round bone and marrow show through. Have him crack the bone, but not remove it.

Combine the onion, carrot, celery, butter and garlic in a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add strips of lemon peel and remove from the heat. Keep warm.

Dredge the veal shanks in flour and brown in a hot skillet in olive oil. Brown on all sides. Set the veal shanks on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Tip the skillet that browned the veal, and spoon off as much of the fat as possible.

Add the wine to the skillet and boil rapidly for about 3-4 minutes to reduce slightly. While boiling, scrape the skillet to loosen any brown bits that have stuck to the pan. Pour this mixture over the veal in the Dutch oven. Then add the broth, tomatoes, water, basil, thyme, bay leaves and parsley. Season to taste. Broth should just cover the veal. If not, add more broth.

Bring this to a gentle boil. Cover tightly and put it in a medium oven, 350°F for about 2-2½ hours or the veal is very tender. Carefully turn and baste the veal frequently during the baking. Garnish with lemon peel.

Author's Comments

Although it seems complicated, this recipe is not. Let your butcher do all the work with the veal. Most of the time the veal is in the oven, allowing you to do other things or get other dishes ready for the meal. When serving this dish, place small teaspoons on each plate, so the individual can spoon out the marrow . . . A favorite part of this meal for me. (that is why the butcher cracks the bone) If you must, try Osso Buco in a restaurant first, I am sure you will fall in love with it also. It is one of my most favorite dishes.

From my cookbook: The "Old Country" Italian Cookbook, by Donald J.P. La Marca

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