Osso bucco bianco

This dish of tender braised sliced veal shanks is an Italian classic. Although there are many variations on the theme, the two most common are osso bucco alla Milanese and osso bucco bianco (more simply put, with and without tomatoes). Our version is classic with a twist, diverging a little from tradition with the addition of extra flavour layers – each planned to add a little more complexity and deliciousness to this lick the plate, queen of dishes. Yes, traditionally osso bucco is served with a gremolata. We haven’t included this (because we think this is perfect as is), but don’t let that stop you.








  • 4 osso bucco 4cm thick (no bigger than 300g each)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or flour
  • 1/2 tsp cooking salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 100g good quality ghee or cultured butter
  • 12 green olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 20 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • Generous grate of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 pieces lemon peel
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 350ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock (preferably house made and low salt)


1. Prepping the meat

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Traditionally the meat is tied around the middle with butchers’ twine to hold its shape when cooking, you can also snip the outer membrane around the outside of the veal pieces to prevent them curling as they cook. These steps are entirely aesthetic so are optional.

Remove the meat from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. Mix the potato starch with the salt and a generous grind of black pepper, lightly coat each piece of meat, shaking off the excess

2. Browning the meat

Heat a heavy based casserole wide enough to hold the meat in a single layer over a medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is very hot, add the meat, cook, turning once until a golden crust has formed on both sides. This will take about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan, cover and set aside.

3. Making the sauce and cooking the meat

Reduce the heat, add the ghee or butter, once melted add in all the finely chopped ingredients and spices, sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Return the meat to the pan, sitting it on top of the vegetables, add in the bay leaves, lemon peel and nestle in the garlic. Increase the heat slightly, pour over the wine, let it bubble until reduced by half. Pour over the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover tightly, transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 hours turning the meat every 30 minutes (being careful not to damage the marrow inside the bone) until the meat is very tender. At this stage, if the sauce is too runny, put the casserole over a medium high heat, remove the lid and reduce for 5-10 minutes until you have a thick slightly sticky and glossy sauce. Taste and season as required.

4. To serve

Serve with saffron risotto, creamy mash (potato, parsnip, celeriac and Jerusalem artichoke all make the grade), polenta or potato crisps and warm crusty bread (our favourite).


This is a slow braise. The meat must be cooked in a single snug layer with a gradual reduction of the liquid. Don’t let the meat dry out. You want to keep the liquid half to three quarters up the side of the meat for most of the cooking time, adding a little additional stock if required then leaving it to reduce for the final 30-45 minutes.

As seen in Winter 2022

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