Osso Buco Alla Milanese

Serves 4.


  • 12 pieces veal shank (osso buco), about 4cm thick.
  • Plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 60ml olive oil.
  • 60g butter.
  • 1 garlic clove.
  • 250ml dry white wine.
  • 1 bay leaf or lemon.
  • Pinch of allspice.
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon.


  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.
  • 6 tablespooms finely chopped parsley.
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped.
  • Thin lemon wedges.


  1. Tie each piece of veal shank around its girth to secure the flesh, then dust with the seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the oil, butter and garlic in a large heavy saucepan big enough to hold the shanks in a single layer.
  3. Put the shanks in the pan and cook for 12-15 minutes until well browned.
  4. Arrange the shanks, standing them up in a single layer, pour in the wine and add the bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon.
  5. Cover the saucepan.
  6. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes, then add 125 ml warm water.
  7. Continue cooking, covered, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour (the timing will depend on the age of the veal), until the meat is tender and you can cut it with fork.
  8. Check the volume of liquid once or twice and add more warm water as needed.
  9. Transfer the veal to a plate and keep warm.
  10. Discard the garlic clove and bay leaf.

To make the gremolata:

  • Mix together the lemon rind, parsley and garlic.
  • Increase the heat under the saucepan and stir for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick, scraping up any bits off the bottom of the saucepan as you stir.
  • Stir in the gremolata.
  • Season with salt and pepper if necessary and return the veal to the sauce.
  • Heat through then serve with the lemon wedges.

Osso Buco is a Milanese dish and traditionally tomatoes are not used in the cooking of northern Italy. The absence of the robust tomato allows the more delicate flavour of the gremolata to feature in this classic Osso Buco. Serve with risotto alla Milanese.