Skip to Content

Osso Buco

March 21, 2024

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.

Categories

Osso buco, cross cut shanks with fresh parsley and garlic in a braiser with serving spoon.

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!

💌 Let's Stay Together

There are so many great ways to receive all of our latest recipes, meal tips, and inspiration.

Osso Buco

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  1 hr 45 min
  • Calories: 759

Ingredients

  • 2½-3 pounds beef shanks, about 4 pieces total
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (750 mL) bottle dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

For Serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Pat the beef shanks dry with a paper towel and season all over with the salt and pepper.

  2. In an oven-proof braiser or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches, add the shanks to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining beef shanks.

  3. To the same braiser add the celery, carrots, and onions over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.

  4. Add 2¼ cups of the wine along with the beef stock to the braiser, then increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the stock and tomato paste are fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Return the beef shanks to the skillet, cover, and place in the oven. Cook for 60 to 90 minutes or until the beef is very tender and falling off the bone.

  5. Transfer the braiser to the stovetop, over medium-high heat. Transfer the shanks to a plate to rest. Add the remaining ¾ cup of wine along with the butter to the braiser and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

  6. Serve the shanks over creamy polenta, cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes, drizzled with pan sauce and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories759
  • Protein63 g
  • Carbohydrates13 g
  • Total Fat37 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol128 mg
  • sodium669 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Osso Buco

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

or
  • Sam

    Any suggestions for a tomato paste substitute?

    It woudl be tough to find a good sub for that in t his recipe.

  • Sheri

    Curious as to what those rings are on top of the beef shanks?

    A thick cut ring of onion

  • Ellen

    If I can’t get waygu shanks will the recipe still work the same with veal or regular beef shanks?!

    Thank you!!

    Yes!

  • Michael

    How did you get that beautiful browning on your Osso Buco? I did brown mine and then cooked in slow cooker vs oven. Would doing the Dutch Overn in Oven result in that amazing looking meat vs my bland ones or did you do something special?

    Yes, a slow cooker steams the meat a little more and so you don't retain that nice brown color. I hope it tasted good!

  • Mary

    I loved how simple this recipe is with such delicious results. I will say, I had to double the cooking time, but it was worth the wait!

    Ok good to know. We can retest and figure out the timing. Glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    This was one of the most outstanding dishes I've made. I served with mashed potatoes and I couldn't not stop eating!

    Thank you so much, we are so happy that you loved it!