osso bucco, with risotto alla milanese and gremolata

I recently went out for dinner with my parents to The Turks Head, Suffolk, and this dish was on the menu so I couldn’t resist! I’d never made it myself, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Osso Bucco is traditionally made with veal shin, but beef shin on the bone is easier to find and cheaper – plus tastes just as great! I managed to get mine from my local butcher for a reasonable cost of £7. I wouldn’t know the weight – I simply asked for 2 x thick pieces. You’ll need one piece per person – my recipe is only for 2, so if you’re making enough for 4 then simply double the quantities!

A lot of modern recipes include tomatoes – whether it be tinned or pureed – but I prefer to stick to the original recipe.

You can also serve the osso bucco and gremolata with creamy, parmesan polenta or even mashed potatoes for a heartier meal, but again I have chosen to stick with Milanese tradition.



osso bucco

2 x thick cut pieces of beef or veal shin, on the bone

2 tbsp olive oil

plain flour, for dusting

30g butter

1 x onion, chopped finely

2 x stalks of celery, chopped finely

1 x carrot, chopped finely

100ml italian white wine

300ml rich beef stock

fresh rosemary, chopped finely

2 x bay leaves

1/2 a lemon

1 x bulb of garlic, cut in half horizontally

salt and pepper

risotto alla milanese

30g butter

1 tsp olive oil

1 x onion, finely chopped

500ml chicken stock

200g risotto rice (arborio works well, but carnaroli is definitely the best if you can get your hands on it!)

30ml italian white wine

30g grated parmesan, plus a little extra to serve

salt and pepper


handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely

zest of 1 x lemon

1/2 clove of garlic

a small splash of olive oil

serves 2


  1. pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. using a wide set pan (large enough to add all the meat in one layer) add the olive oil and heat to a high temperature.
  3. dust the beef shin lightly with flour, and add to the pan. brown on both sides before removing and set to one side.
  4. using the same pan – reduce heat to a low-medium temperature, and then add the butter. add the chopped onion, celery and carrot, stirring regularly. cook until softened – this shouldn’t take too long if chopped very finely, approx 5-10 minutes.
  5. once vegetables are soft, add the meat back into the pan along with the herbs, lemon and garlic. slightly increase heat. add the white wine to the pan and cook until totally reduced.
  6. add the rich beef stock and plenty of salt and pepper to the pan. put lid on the pan and move dish into the oven for approximately 3 hours, stirring every 30 mins.
  7. whilst the shins are in the oven, you can easily make your gremolata. simply mix all of the ingredients together!
  8. approx. 30 mins before your shins are due to come out of the oven, make a start on the risotto. heat a small pan over a high heat and add most of your saffron strands. they should toast very quickly so be careful not to let them burn! once toasted, they should be crisp in texture and easy to grind. using a pestle and mortar, grind down to a powdery texture.
  9. melt 20g of the butter (you’ll need the rest at the end) and oil in a large pan over a gentle heat, and add the onion. allow the onion to soften but not brown or burn. add the rice to the pan, and stir until it looks glossy and that all grains appear coated in the butter/oil mixture.add in the powdered saffron and the remaining saffron strands, plus the white wine. stir well. once the wine has been absorbed a ladle-ful of hot chicken stock. stir continuously, and add another ladle-ful once the stock has been absorbed. continue until all stock has been soaked in and the rice is al dente but not chalky.
  10. season to taste, and add in your remaining butter and parmesan, stirring in until it’s totally melted.
  11. take your shins out of the oven. you may wish to serve them whole if they’re not to large in diameter, but mine were so large i chose to cut down in to smaller pieces. the meat was so tender it was a pretty easy feat.
  12. time to plate up – start with the risotto, adding a little grated parmesan on top. then add your osso bucco, and top with a generous sprinkling of gremolata.
  13. enjoy! p.s. that’s my homemade rosemary and olive focaccia bread you can see in the background of the photo – i will be sharing that recipe in due course!

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