Skip to Content

Osso Buco

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Calories: 384
Osso buco, cross cut shanks with fresh parsley and garlic in a braiser with serving spoon.

Hearty and luxurious, classic osso buco is the tuxedo of the food world—it’s a head-turner that just never goes out of style. Especially if you make it with wagyu beef shanks. Which, you know, we did.

Osso Buco—the Hearty, Celebrational, Ultra-Luxe Dinner That’s Going To Catapult You Over That Wintertime Slump

You don’t have to serve this osso buco recipe at a holiday dinner, but everyone will thank you if you do. Actually, you’ll even be thanking yourself! Why? Well, it’s a huge splurge—we’ll get that out of the way right now—and it’s hugely, insanely, dream-about-it-for-months deliciously worth that splurge. Slowly braised hunks of meat that sort of caramelize in a tomatoey, herby, beefy, winey liquid and self-baste in a pool of their own flavorful fat and marrow—what can we say? Osso buco is wonderfully over the top. It’s a meal that’s an event in its own right, so if you’re looking for a way to make sure that your Christmas feast or solstice shindig or New Year’s Eve dinner party feels like a real festival of a supper, you’d better just go ahead and plan to serve this osso buco recipe.

carrots, garlic, onions, thyme and herbs on a counter
raw osso buco, cross cut beef shanks on a cutting board with salt

What Is Osso Buco?

“Osso buco” is an Italian dish. The phrase itself means “bone with a hole” in Milan’s dialect, which is a fitting name for a dish that stars a succulent piece of meat—a shank—with a bone in the center, which releases the rich bone marrow at the center as it cooks. To begin, the meat is browned and then a trio of aromatic vegetables is added and sautéed, along with white wine—use a wine that you like enough to drink as-ish—fresh herbs, and tomatoes. All of these classic flavors marry together through the low and slow braising process, as the marrow from the center of the bone cooks down and creates a dreamy sauce that just begs to be poured over a bed of creamy polenta or even risotto.

What Kind of Meat Is Osso Buco?

In a true Italian cookbook, like The Silver Spoon or Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, you’ll find traditional osso buco Milanese recipes (sometimes styled “ossobuco”) in the veal section of the book because veal shank is the most classic cut of meat for making osso buco. However, we’re partial to beef shank osso buco! Particularly when that beef shank is a melt-in-your-mouth, ultra-deluxe Lone Mountain wagyu beef shank. You may be familiar with wagyu beef, but if you’re not, the word “wagyu” refers to a few different breeds of Japanese cow—one of which is raised under very specific conditions outside of Kobe, Japan and sold as “Kobe beef”. But wagyu cattle are raised here in the U.S. too, and are known for their super marbled meat and uniquely high-quality fat. In other words, these cows yield the rich and delicious, fall-off-the-bone beef shanks that our osso buco dreams are made of. So yeah, make your osso buco with wagyu shanks, OK? Trust us.

4 cross cut beef shanks browned in a braiser.
homemade osso buco cross cut beef shanks in a braiser with sauce

How to Make Osso Buco

One of the reasons we love to make this snazzy dinner recipe at the holidays is because it’s the tuxedo of beef recipes and everyone gets all excited when they hear it’s on the menu. But the other (equally important reason) is that it’s really, really easy! Spring for those gorgeous, marbled beef shanks, and your work is half done. With that long braising time, you just pop the osso buco into the oven about two hours before you want to eat dinner, and then basically forget about them while you get ready and greet your guests. Here’s how to make osso buco:

  1. Brown the wagyu beef shanks in oil. Set them aside.
  2. Make the braising liquid but sautéing celery, carrots and onions. Add garlic, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves, then ¾ of a bottle of wine and beef stock.
  3. Beef shanks go into the braising liquid, lid goes on, and the pan goes into the oven!
  4. Cook for about 2 hours. Test for doneness by poking the meat with a fork. The meat should be falling apart and tender.
  5. Pull the shanks out of the pan and add a little butter and wine to the remaining liquid. Simmer to make a quick sauce and then....
  6. Serve!
homemade osso buco cross cut beef shanks in a braiser with sauce and a serving spoon
homemade osso buco cross cut beef shanks with sauce on a plate with mashed potatoes

Tools You’ll Need:

More Beef Recipes To Try

Italian osso buco cross cut beef shanks in a braiser with sauce

You’re Making Osso Buco For Dinner? Seriously!?

Treat the people you love to this feast of a meal, and they’ll love you forever. Well, hopefully they’ll love you forever anyway, but it never hurts to have a few extra brownie points to burn, right? So make them this osso buco recipe for them this holiday season—or anytime, really— and rest just a little easier. If you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Osso Buco

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Calories: 384

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Beef shanks, about 2-3 lbs total
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Ribs celery, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, minced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Rosemary sprigs
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Polenta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes for serving

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a braiser or shallow dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high.
  3. Pat the beef shanks dry with a paper towel and season with the salt and desired amount of pepper. Once oil is showing slight wisps of smoke add shanks two at a time to the pan. After 3-4 minutes the shanks should be nice and browned. Turn them over and brown the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer them from the pan, onto a plate and repeat the process with the remaining 2 shanks.
  4. Once the shanks are browned and all transferred to the plate, reduce heat to medium-low and add celery, carrots and onions to the pan. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Return the heat to medium-high and pour 3/4 of the bottle of wine and the beef stock. Bring to a simmer, stirring to incorporate the tomato paste. Add the beef shanks back into the pan, cover and place in oven. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Test for doneness with a fork. Meat should be very tender.
  6. Place the braiser on the stovetop over medium high heat. Transfer the shanks onto a clean plate to rest. Add the remaining wine along with butter to the pan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced and thickened.
  7. Serve shanks over creamy polenta, mashed potatoes or egg noodles topped with the sauce from the pan and fresh parsley. Enjoy!