October 16, 2023| By

Beef Osso Buco

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Skip to recipe

I love to gather the family on a cozy Sunday afternoon and enjoy a meal together. Osso buco can hang out in the oven, braising away, while you are at church or running errands. Then it's simple to pull out a family meal when it's ready.

More Italian-Inspired meals perfect for sharing are Cacio e Pepe Gnocchi or Tomato Gnocchi Soup. If everyone has the munchies while smelling dinner cooking, have them assemble and enjoy Charcuterie Skewers.

Osso buco over mashed potatoes in a large skillet.
Jump to:

I love to gather the family on a cozy Sunday afternoon and enjoy a meal together. Osso buco can hang out in the oven, braising away, while you are at church or running errands. Then it's simple to pull out a family meal when it's ready.

This osso buco recipe is a great beginner dish that looks amazing. You can practice knife skills, searing, building flavor, and learning how to use fresh herbs. I love to use meals like this as a teaching point because the easy steps come together in a really impressive-looking meal.

This Italian comfort food is a great dish for special occasions, especially the holidays. It's one of my favorite recipes for Sunday dinner in the fall when I'm craving a cozy yet easy to make meal.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

  • Hands off cooking. Since this will be in the oven for a couple of hours, it gives you a chance to mingle with guests. Add everything to a dutch oven and place in the oven so that you can work on other parts of the meal.
  • Special occasion meal! This is one of those recipes you will want to use to impress. The meal itself is easy but looks really fancy.
  • Super flavorful! You may not normally use the shank but it delivers so much flavor to the meal.
  • Make ahead friendly! This is one of those meals that tastes even better the next day!

What is osso buco?

Osso Buco (also spelled "osso bucco") is a Italian classic dish made with braised veal shanks. The name "osso buco" is Italian and translates to "bone with a hole" or "hollow bone". referring to the marrow-filled bone at the center of the beef shanks.

Because osso buco is a tough cut of meat, it involves slow-cooking the veal shanks. The braising liquid consists of a flavorful mixture of white wine, broth, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and various herbs and spices. The dish is known for its rich and aromatic flavors, and the slow cooking process results in tender, falling-off-the-bone meat.

Osso buco is typically served with a gremolata, a condiment made from lemon zest, garlic, and parsley, which adds a bright and fresh contrast to the rich, braised meat. It is also commonly served over risotto alla milanese or with creamy polenta, making it a hearty and satisfying Italian specialty.

Beef Osso Buco Ingredients

ingredients to make osso buco on a white surface - beef shanks, red wine, garlic, hersb, bacon, beef broth, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, celery, carrots, and onions.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Osso Buco -  This is literally Italian for "bone with hole" meaning the lower leg of the animal that includes bone marrow inside. You can use either veal or beef, depending on what your market has as well as your budget.

Garlic and Onion - These classic flavor builders should always be included.

Red Wine - You are cooking this so long that no alcohol content remains. Traditionally, a dry white wine is used but I love the flavor of beef and red wine. It adds such a rich flavor. I highly recommend using a good drinking wine (not a "cooking wine") here. If you truly don't use wine when cooking, you may use extra beef stock.

Crushed Tomatoes - Adds both texture and flavor to the broth and wine, giving you the perfect flavor combination.

Fresh Herbs - Strip thyme and rosemary off their stems, and save a sprig or two for presentation as well. You'll also need bay leaves. You really can't beat the flavor of using fresh instead of dried.

Pro Tips 

Beef osso buco with carrots, over mashed potatoes in a bowl.

With these additional tips, your osso buco should turn out even more flavorful and tender. 

  • Select the Right Veal Shanks: Choose veal shanks that are of consistent thickness and have a good amount of marrow. This ensures even cooking and a more balanced presentation.
  • Tie the Shanks: To prevent the meat from falling off the bone during cooking, consider tying kitchen twine around each shank to hold it together.
  • Season Liberally: Season the meat with salt and pepper, and dust with flour before browning. The flour helps to thicken the sauce as it simmers.
  • Check the Liquid Level: During the cooking process, occasionally check the liquid level. If it's reducing too rapidly, add a bit more stock or wine to maintain the desired consistency
  • Searing the meat in batches means you get good color on each piece. If you crowd the pan you risk steaming the meat as well as not having enough room to turn each piece over.

Step-by-Step Instructions

- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees f, and wrap each beef shank with kitchen twine. Then season with salt and black pepper and dredge each shank in a light coat of flour. (Image 1 and 2)

- Crisp up the bacon in an large Dutch oven or large pot over low heat, then remove and leave the fat behind. Increase the heat to medium-high heat, Carefully sear all of the shanks in batches until golden brown on both sides. (Image 3 and 4)

- Sauté the carrots, onions, and garlic until fragrant. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, being sure to scrape up any browned bits (i.e. tons of flavor!) from the pot. Then add a bay leaf, fresh thyme sprigs and rosemary. (Image 5)

celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in a pot with crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.

- Return the shanks to the pot, making sure they are completely submerged in liquid. Boil for 5 minutes. (Image 6)

beef osso buco in a large pot covered in tomato sauce and vegetables.

- Add the lid to the pot and braise in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is fall apart fork tender.

What to Serve with Osso Buco 

Osso buco over mashed potatoes in an oval serving dish.

Being a classic Italian recipe, osso buco is traditionally served with polenta or risotto milanese. You can also whip up some Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes as a family favorite. These options will help soak up all that delicious sauce surrounding the meat.

While we do include carrots and onions, you can always add roasted veggies or a bright House Salad.

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftover osso buco, pop them in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container. You can gently reheat in the microwave or in the pot on the stovetop and serve again with any leftover mashed potatoes.

Recipe fAQs

Is searing meat necessary?

Definitely! This will add a layer of flavor by browning the meat itself, and you also get that lovely fond (brown bits) on the bottom of the pot. Since we are cooking in liquid, that extra browning of the meat helps it not be bland. Make sure when you stir in the broth that you scrape up anything stuck to the pot!

Storing Leftovers

If you have leftovers, pop them in the fridge for a few days. You can gently reheat in a pot on the stovetop and serve again with any leftover mashed potatoes.

Want more delicious and beautiful recipes? Subscribe to my newsletter, where you'll hear about new recipes FIRST and get tantalizing and exclusive perks!

Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

Beef Rosso buck with carrots, over mashed potatoes in a bowl.

Osso Buco

The rich flavor of the bone marrow is what flavors this classic Italian dish. It's lovely for a holiday or hosting a dinner party.
Serving: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Calories: 494kcal


  • Dutch Oven
  • Kitchen Twine optional


  • 3 lbs osso buco beef or veal shanks
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 slices bacon or panetta cut into chunks
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic diced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme stems removed
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary stems removed and diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil if needed


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Use a paper towel to pat the veal shanks dry. Generously season with salt and pepper and wrap each shank in twine (optional: this is to ensure they keep their shape while cooking).
  • Add flour to a large bowl and dredge the shanks, lightly tapping off any excess flour.
  • Place a large pot or dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and allow the fat to render and for the bacon to become crispy. Remove the bacon and increase the heat to medium high. Add 2-3 shanks to the pot and sear on both sides until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. (If pan becomes a little dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.)
  • Then add carrots, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions become slightly softened, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and tomato paste and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the red wine, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Stir together and place the beef into the broth, ensuring that it is submerged. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 2 ½ hours. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Alternatively, you can also reduce the heat to low and simmer on the stovetop for 2-3 hours, until the meat is fork tender.)


  • Make sure and use an oven-safe pot with lid when you start the dish!


Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 620mg | Potassium: 1352mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 345IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian

Did you make this?

instagram icon

Tag us on the gram @britneybreaksbread to be featured in our stories!

Rate + Review

What do you think of this recipe?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. Absolutely delicious! One question, was the bacon/pancetta only used for the rendered fat to sear the shanks because I didn't see in the recipe to add it back with other ingredients. I will definitely be making this again.

    • Hi! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this recipe! The bacon goes back in just before you cover the pot with the lid to braise. I hope that that helps and thanks for giving this recipe a try 🙂

Share To