Osso Buco

DinnerItalianBraised BeefVeal

Italian osso buco, made with veal shanks, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, pancetta, and gremolata with parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I’ve made osso buco, an Italian dish of braised veal shanks, several times. I’ve eaten it in fine Italian restaurants but I’ve never really liked it until now.

This is a great recipe that my father pulled from the web a few years ago, which uses pancetta, instead of olive oil, for the browning of the veal and cooking the vegetables.

Our Favorite Videos

Olive oil is the traditional method, so if you want to skip the pancetta, just substitute several tablespoons of olive oil.

But the pancetta adds a lovely flavor dimension, and is probably the secret ingredient that has me liking osso buco for the first time. So use it if you can.

“Osso Buco” means “hole of bone” because this marrow provides the rich flavor to the sauce. A marrow spoon, one of those long skinny spoons found in old sterling silverware sets, would come in handy with this dish, as the succulent shank marrow can be tricky to extract (I used the skinny end of a teaspoon).

The gremolata (parsley, lemon zest and garlic) is an important garnish for this dish, don’t skip.

Osso Buco Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced 1/4 inch cubes (do not substitute bacon)
  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds veal shanks (4 to 6 pieces 2-3 inches thick)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot (1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch cubes)
  • 1 medium onion, diced 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (about 4 cloves) chopped garlic
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 cups chicken or veal stock
  • Flour for dusting the meat before browning
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 2 tablespoons minced flat (Italian) parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced


1 Preheat oven to 325°F.

2 Brown the pancetta: Heat a dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat for about five minutes. Add pancetta to pan, cook, stirring occasionally.

When the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered (about 5 minutes of cooking), remove the pancetta to a plate covered with some paper towel and set aside.

If necessary, drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.

3 Dredge shanks in flour, brown in pan: Season the veal shank well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks through some flour, shake off any excess, and add the meat to the hot fat in the pan.

Increase the heat to medium high and cook the meat on each side until well browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the shanks to a plate, set aside.

Dutch oven with meat for osso buco cooking inside.

4 Sauté onions, carrots, celery: Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the dutch oven. Cook the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about five minutes) and toss in the garlic and thyme.

Continue cooking until the vegetables just begin to brown (about 10 minutes).

A blue dutch oven with osso bucco inside.

5 Return shanks to pan, add wine and stock: Add the shanks and the pancetta back to the pan. Pour in the wine, and then add enough stock to come a little more than half way up the side of the shanks.

Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and put it in the oven to cook until the meat is tender, about an hour to an hour and a half.

Ossobuco cooking in a blue dutch oven.

6 Make gremolata: Combine the gremolata ingredients, place in a separate small serving dish.

Serve on top of risotto or polenta. Sprinkle with gremolata.

Greens added to the top of osso bucco. Cooked ossobucco in a dutch oven.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

29 Comments / Reviews

No ImageOsso Buco

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Miss Laine

    I didn’t use string and it came out fine without string. I made this tonight and he loved it. But I forgot to put on the gremolata. It was in the fridge. Tomorrow he will have it with the gremolata garnish.


  2. Alfred

    No tomato paste or chopped tomatoes??? Never saw an osso bucco recipe without it.

    Show Replies (2)
  3. Elinor

    Great recipe. Only correction- needs longer in the oven. About 2hrs


  4. Henry

    Terrific. My girls loved it, save the lemon shavings (kids!)


  5. JP

    Hiya, i have been eating this dish since i was a kid.
    I adore the stuff and can’t get enough of it.

    I personally don’t use the Pancetta but i will certainly give it a try next time i get some shin….Speaking of that, osso bucco can be rather expensive, so what i tend to do is order a whole shin from my local butcher 3 days in advance of when i need it, the entire shin costs me around £25 and i usually get about 6 cuts from it (supermarkets charge waaaay more than this), the bonus (apart from the cost) is that you get the whole shin bone too, so i get the butcher to cut the bone (so it bends)and then pop the bone in with the portions, then i use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke out all the marrow into the sauce just before serving……the taste is sublime!!!

    Go see your butcher, you’ll save money i promise!

View More
Ladling osso buco out of a dutch oven.Osso Buco