Think, Read, Cook

Because no single way of eating works for everybody.

Let’s Eat Some Holey Bones!


Osso Bucco is often perceived as a big-deal fancy dish, too elaborate to make at home.

Well, nuts to that. I make it at home, and so does my teenage son who’s just learning the basics of cooking – and if we can do it, anyone can. It’s simple, delicious, and looks pretty special, whether you blend the sauce ingredients at the end or leave the chunks of vegetables for a more “rustic” presentation.

If you don’t want to use veal shanks, beef shanks will do, though they’re not quite as tender or as tasty. All you need to serve with this dish is something to soak up the sauce (rice or potatoes), and a green salad if you want some extra veg.

So don’t let the fancy Italian name intimidate you – it just means “bone with a hole”. And if you like bone marrow, that’s this dish’s extra treat. Mmmm – holey bones!

This recipe is the one I use all the time. I found it on the Internet – it’s a slight variation on the recipe devised by Christian Mueller, Food & Beverage Director at The Pines Resort in Bass Lake, California.

Osso Bucco


4 lb Veal Shanks (or beef shanks)

Olive Oil

2 Carrots, diced

4 Celery Ribs, diced

1 Yellow Onion, chopped

1 Cup White Wine (or red wine if using beef shanks)

4 whole Garlic Cloves

4 Cups Chicken Stock (or beef stock if using beef shanks)

2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

Salt and Pepper


1.  Season veal with salt and pepper. Brown in hot olive oil.

2.  Remove veal from pan.  Add carrots, celery, garlic and onions to the pan and cook until brown.

3.  Add tomato paste and sauté one more minute.

4.  Add wine to deglaze the pan. Stir in chicken stock.

5.  Put the veal, vegetables and sauce in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for about 2 hours, or until meat is ready to fall off the bone.

6.  Remove the veal shanks. Strain the sauce and reduce to desired consistency, or puree the sauce with a hand blender, or leave the vegetable chunks intact and thicken the sauce with your favourite thickening ingredient. Serve with rice or potatoes and enjoy.


14 comments on “Let’s Eat Some Holey Bones!

  1. Merle von Thorn
    May 10, 2013

    I like my Osso Bucco served with Gremolata Zest of one large lemon*
    1 lg. or 2 sm. cloves garlic; crushed
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
    1 tsp. olive oil
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    Thoroughly combine all in ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for an hour

    • thinkreadcook
      May 10, 2013

      Oh, excellent suggestion! I’m very fond of gremolata… never had it with osso bucco before. Must try that! 🙂

  2. theflashcook
    May 10, 2013

    i’m going to make this forewith (or soon)! I’ve always been intimidated by osso bucco and tend to order it in restaurants as one of the dishes “i couldn’t possibly make at home”. That and the timpano from Big Night. Very exciting. and it’s been shown to reduce cancer right? 🙂

  3. judy
    May 10, 2013

    The veal/beef would cost me $50.- just for starters. Things are so expensive here.

    • thinkreadcook
      May 10, 2013

      Yikes! I had no idea the meat prices were so bad there. I’d better post some vegetarian stuff, quick!

  4. judy
    May 10, 2013

    What’s gremolata?

    • thinkreadcook
      May 10, 2013

      It’s a garnish that you sprinkle on things… that’s one version of it. 🙂

      • judy
        May 11, 2013

        A garnish of what?

      • thinkreadcook
        May 11, 2013

        The stuff in the recipe that Merle quoted… 🙂

  5. judy
    May 11, 2013

    But that still doesn’t tell me what it is. Describe it for me or take a picture of it please.

  6. judy
    May 11, 2013

    Thank you. Little green veggie things.

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