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Osso Buco
Italian | Soups & Stews

This is a lovely dish that is traditionally made with veal, but here Ive used lamb shanks which seem to be more readily available in our grocery stores and are less expensive as well. I've compiled my own combination of ingredients and flavors here after trying several Osso Buco recipes from various sources. The rich tomato and herb sauce smells heavenly as it is baking, and the tender meat will literally fall off the bones as you begin to eat.

Start your preparation approximately three hours before you wish to serve this; total baking time is 2.5 hours. Serves 4.

4 pounds lamb shanks (one shank per person, because of the large bone you should plan about 1 pound per person; you may also use veal which is the more traditional meat for Osso Buco)
Salt & ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter

2 cups coarsely chopped onion
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced in -inch coins
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced

(You may add 2 cups chopped porcini mushrooms also, if you wish)

2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 cups brown chicken stock (homemade is best or you can substitute regular canned chicken stock)
2 cups white wine
cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4-6 fresh bay leaves


  • Salt & pepper the lamb shanks generously, then brown them in the olive oil and butter in a large skillet (I use cast iron). Remove meat from pan; place lamb shanks in roasting pan that has been sprayed with Pam.

  • Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to drippings in pan. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

  • Stir in tomato sauce, chicken stock, white wine, basil, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves. Simmer for 1-2 minutes and then pour veggie mixture over the lamb shanks in the roasting pan.

  • Cover roasting pan tightly (you may use aluminum foil if you wish) and bake at 375 F. for one hour. Turn heat down to 325 F. and continue baking for another hour. Remove cover; bake for another 30 minutes.

Serve with pasta, a green salad and a baguette.