Ossobuco alla Milanese – Veal/Beef Shank, Milan Style


The “Ossobuco alla Milanese” is absolutely one of my favorite recipes, I simply love it, and the particular taste given by the so called “gremolada” makes it special and delicious 🙂 (The gremolada is a mixture of lemon zest, parsley and garlic added in the end, which is the special ingredient absolutely needed in this recipe).

Moreover it’s a dish made with a cut which is sold at good prices, that makes it a dish of great value too.

It’s an old recipe typical of Milan cuisine and famous through all Italy (in the dialect of Milan it’s called “òs büs“), the first recipes date back some centuries and in the oldest recipes there was no tomato because it was not yet a common ingredient in northern Italy at that time, only later it has been added. But someone still prefer to cook this recipe without tomato.

Moreover, as in other typical recipes of Milan, the meat used for this recipe it’s the veal, but also with beef is possible (personally I prefer the beef taste), just it takes more time to cook.

The cut used is the “geretto posteriore“, the back legs shank, at the level of the tibia where the bone is plenty of marrow, and not the part where the bone is more spongy. It’s important because the marrow will give a better taste to the dish.

Another thing, traditionally most of the recipes of Milan use just butter because the extra virgin olive oil was not very common in the past there, but nowadays a mix of the two is often used (but the butter must be used). Also because to brown/sear well the meat we need higher temperatures at which the butter and the onion could burn, so I prefer to do the first step separately and put the two together later.

Traditionally the Ossobuco alla Milanese is served next to the “Risotto alla Milanese, but also the pairings with polenta, spinach or mashed potatoes are common.

Let’s see this amazing recipe now! 🙂

INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 1,2-1,4 Kg of veal shank (I used beef), each slice about 3-4 cm thick
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 small onion
  • extra virgin olive oil, 2-3 spoons
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 1 spoon of tomato concentrate (just to give the color)
  • vegetable broth, about 200-300 ml (but have more, in the case you need to add later)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • the zest of one lemon, not treated
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flour
  1. First of all you have to make some cuts on the membrane that stays around the slices of meat: this will prevent them to curl while cooking. Prepare also a vegetable broth if you don’t have it already (with the usual onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, garlic, parsley, etc.).
  2. Then cut the onion very small and put it to simmer in a pan with the butter, at very low heat until it’s soft (10/15 minutes about).
  3. While the onion is getting softer take a large pan (big enough to contain all the meat) and heat the extra virgin olive oil, then add the meat after you have passed it in some flour (not too much) and brown it on both sides at medium/high heat.
  4. When the meat has got a nice color on both sides add the white wine and keep the heat high until the wine has reduced.
  5. When the wine has reduced add the onions with the butter from the other pan, then add the tomato concentrate diluted in the vegetable broth and season with salt. Cover the pan (but not completely, leave a little space open) and let it simmer at low heat, turning the shanks every 25/30 minutes. If the sauce should reduce too much you can add some vegetable broth. The cooking liquid should always be at least half the way up the shank, also a bit more.
  6. If you use veal shanks in one hour and half/one hour and 45 minutes it should be ready, if you use beef count at least 2 and half hours, or even 3 (that’s what I did). You will see when it’s ready: the fork can enter easily in the meat and the meat will fall off easily the bone, and it will look almost as glazed.
  7. When the meat it’s ready prepare the “gremolada“: cut into small pieces the clove of garlic, the parsley and the lemon zest and mix them together, then simply pour it in the pan and mix it together with all the meat. Let it cook for other 4/5 minutes to let the meat taking the flavors of the gremolada. Check also if the sauce is salted enough, and if you would like add some freshly ground black pepper before serving.ossobuco_milanese_11a
  8. Then serve it with its sauce and enjoy this delicious food 🙂 I like it with polenta, but as I wrote above also a classic “risotto alla milanese” or mashed potato are good choices 🙂 With a good glass of wine it’s even better 😀

PS: I leave the marrow for the last bite, I always do that 🙂





Products used:

Beef: Angus from “Terra Pannonia”

Polenta: Farina gialla di Storo


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rowena says:

    Of the list of italian dishes that I ♥, this one sits at the top. I am so hungry now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just friday, you are still in time to reach the butcher and make it for sunday eheh 😀 😀 thank you Rowena, I also love this recipe!


  2. I love this dish. Can’t wait to make it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let me know then 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s