More >

Veal Shanks in Red Wine

Ossobucci in Vino


Ossobuco literally means "a bone with a hole in it", but it has become synonymous with the veal shank and marrow. The Milanese way to prepare it is to braise it slowly and then serve it with gremolada, a mixture of fresh lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. I deviate from the classic here, incorporating the sauce ingredients in a different way, and then slow-simmer the veal in red wine with onions and shallots.

Make sure to use a heavy Dutch oven large enough to hold the ossobuchi in one layer. Serve this with oven-roasted potatoes and fresh asparagus.


3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, peeled and sliced

2 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

4 veal shanks, 1½ to 2 inches thick (about 2½ pounds)

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup or more dry red wine

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil, add the onions and shallots, and sauté slowly until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the garlic softens.

Add the veal shanks and brown slowly on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then slowly add the wine, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir to blend, cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Add more wine as needed to keep the meat from drying out. Serve the veal shanks immediately, with some pan juices.

This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1993.


  1. Sheila Lepore's avatar

    Sheila Lepore

    Tried this dish for my family, they just loved it. served with risotto. Very easy to prepare. Give it a try.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!