Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

Italian Comfort Food – Beef Osso Bucco


With the weather getting slightly cooler and fall upon us, it’s time to warm up to some comfort food, Italian style! This is one of the classics! Osso Bucco means “bone hole” in Italian, which is appropriate as this dish from the Piedmont region is traditionally made with veal shank. The “O” of the bone is filled with bone marrow, which, when cooked is delicious smeared on bread.  Meaty, rich tasting, easy to do and not that expensive to make.

I’ve made this dish with beef shank instead of veal, to give it a beefy taste which is slightly lighter on the wallet. This is a great recipe to make for a weekday dinner as you can put it in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a house that smells delicious and a warming fall or winter meal.

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 6+ hours in the slow cooker; Serves: 4 people

What you need:

(Oops! Not shown, balsamic vinegar, basil, bay leaves)
  • 4 beef shanks
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 796ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (you can also use 1 cup beef stock, 1/2 red wine – if you want this to be a Whole30 recipe, don’t use the wine)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (this is not traditionally used, but I like the flavour it adds)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper

What you do:

  • Pat the beef shanks, dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • On the oven, on medium high heat, place the slow cooker insert (NOTE: if you have a ceramic slow cooker do NOT put the insert on the stove, use a fry pan for these steps and add to your slow cooker), add the olive oil
Brown the beef shanks
  • When oil is hot, brown the beef shanks on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, set aside
  • Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic to pot, cook until soft, making sure to scrape up the bottom browned beef bits
Carrots, onion, celery, garlic, make sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom
  • Add tomatoes, beef stock, balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil
Add tomatoes, beef stock and balsamic vinegar
  • Add basil and bay leaves
  • Return beef shanks and any juice to the pot
Add browned beef shanks back to pot
  • Place on (or ingredients in) slow cooker base and cook on low for 6+ hours

Serve over risotto Milanese, mashed potatoes or polenta.

Served with plain risotto


2 thoughts on “Italian Comfort Food – Beef Osso Bucco”

  • i made this recipe and used veal shank instead of red wine i used white wine, i dredge the shank in a little bit of flour before browning them and finally i cooked the osso bucco in the oven at 300F for about 4 hours. It was excellent i will definitely make this recipe again.

    • Thanks Sylvie! Glad you liked the recipe! Dredging the shanks in flour is a great added step, thanks for passing in it on as well as the letting me know how it turned out in the oven!

Tell me what you think!