Ossobuco alla Milanese is a Lombard dish invented in the late 19th Century in a trattoria in Milan. The recipe consists of cross-cut veal shanks which are sealed in hot butter and a little flour, and then slow-cooked with onions, white wine and meat broth. The dish is traditionally served with saffron risotto (Risotto alla Milanese) and topped with gremolata, or finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, garlic and lemon zest.
Ingredients to serve 4 people
4 ossobuchi, English rose veal is the best.
2 tbsp. olive oil
A little Farina 00 Italian flour for dusting
50 g. unsalted butter
2 small shallots, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
200 ml. dry white wine
350 ml. of homemade meat stock
1 unwaxed lemon
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a handful of leaves of Italian parsley
Sea salt and pepper
1. Wash and dry the ossobuchi carefully, and lay them with the open bone marrow hole side up on a clean paper towel covered tray. Sprinkle with some flour, sea salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Place some olive oil and butter into a heavy saute pan (which has a lid), and melt over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and celery, sea salt, pepper and a little water and sweat the vegetables until they are soft. This will take 10 minutes of judicious mixing and patience.
3. Add the ossobuchi and seal and brown the meat both sides. Make sure that the bone marrow does not come out of the hole. If it comes out, just spoon it back in.
4. Add the white wine, scrape the bottom of the pan, and let the alcohol evaporate. Pour some of the meat stock over the ossobuchi, and scrape the bottom of the pan again. Now place the lid over the saucepan, and cook over simmering / low heat for a total of 1and1/2 to 2 hours. Make sure that you turn the ossobuchi over two or three times during cooking, and that you keep topping up the suace with the meat broth. The sauce must never dry out.
5. While the ossobuchi are cooking away, zest the unwaxed lemon, and place the zest in a bowl. Add finely chopped Italian flat leaved parsley and a finely chopped garlic clove. Set the gremolata aside, covered with clingfilm.
6. When the ossobuchi are ready, spoon them onto a large serving platter (be careful of the bone marrow – it’s the best part!), and serve with the sauce drizzled on top and the gremolata.