The Ultimate Osso Buco Recipe Inspired by Jamie Oliver

osso buco recipe jamie oliver

When you think of comfort food with a gourmet touch, nothing beats Osso Buco. Inspired by Jamie Oliver, this Osso Buco recipe brings the authentic flavors of Italy right into your kitchen. Whether you have veal, pork, beef, lamb, or even chicken, this recipe has got you covered. Let’s dive into the world of Italian cooking with this delightful Osso Buco recipe.

Osso Buco Recipe Jamie Oliver

Ryan Yates
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Calories 632 kcal



  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds veal shanks substitute: pork or beef shanks
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 ea medium onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic about 4 cloves
  • 3 to 4 ea sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken or veal stock
  • Flour for dusting the meat before browning
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Gremolata:
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed and minced


Cooking Process and Instructions


    • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
    • In a Dutch oven, cook the diced pancetta over medium heat until it turns crispy. Remove and set aside, keeping two tablespoons of the fat in the pan.
    • Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper. Dust them with flour, shaking off any excess. Sear the shanks in the hot fat in the pan until well browned on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
    • Add the diced onions, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven. Cook until the onions become translucent. Add in the garlic and thyme and continue to cook until the vegetables start to brown.
    • Return the browned shanks and cooked pancetta to the pan. Pour in the wine and add enough stock to cover just over half of the shanks. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
    • Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the preheated oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    Preparing the Gremolata:

    • While the Osso Buco is in the oven, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and minced garlic to make the gremolata. This will be used as a garnish for the dish.


    Once the Osso Buco is tender and fully cooked, serve it hot, garnished with the gremolata.
    Keyword Gremolata, Jamie Oliver, Osso Buco, Veal Shank

    Hard-to-Find Ingredient Substitutions for Your Osso Buco Recipe Inspired by Jamie Oliver

    When crafting an Osso Buco recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver, you might find that some ingredients are not readily available at your local grocery store. But don’t worry – this classic Italian dish is all about rich, slow-cooked flavor, and there are plenty of substitutions that can deliver the authentic taste you’re aiming for. Below are some key ingredient substitutions, along with explanations of how they affect the dish:

    Veal Shanks

    • Pork Shanks: A fantastic alternative that remains tender and juicy when slow-cooked, much like veal.
    • Beef Shanks: A more robust and hearty option, beef shanks will give your Osso Buco a deeper, richer flavor.

    Example: If veal shanks are not available, try using pork shanks for a lighter, yet equally succulent Osso Buco.


    • Regular Bacon: While pancetta is an Italian-style bacon that is not smoked, regular bacon can add a smoky depth of flavor to your Osso Buco.
    • Prosciutto: A more delicate and refined flavor, prosciutto can add a touch of elegance to the dish. It’s leaner than pancetta, so consider adding a little olive oil for fat and richness.

    Example: If you’re out of pancetta, use regular bacon to infuse your Osso Buco with a smoky, rich flavor that pairs wonderfully with the tender meat and aromatic vegetables.

    White Wine (for deglazing and flavor)

    • Chicken or Beef Broth: If you prefer not to cook with wine, a good-quality broth can add depth of flavor.
    • Non-Alcoholic White Wine: This offers the acidity and flavor of white wine without the alcohol content.

    Example: Opt for a chicken broth as a non-alcoholic alternative to white wine, maintaining the rich and savory character of your Osso Buco.

    Gremolata (a mix of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley)

    • Orange Zest: For a different citrus note, orange zest can be a delightful alternative to lemon zest.
    • Fresh Basil or Mint: These herbs can be used instead of parsley for a unique and fragrant twist.

    Example: For a summer-inspired Osso Buco, consider using fresh mint and orange zest in your gremolata for a bright and refreshing flavor.

    Substitution Impact on Flavor

    IngredientSubstitutionImpact on Flavor
    Veal ShanksPork ShanksLighter, Juicy
    Beef ShanksRicher, Hearty
    PancettaRegular BaconSmoky, Rich
    ProsciuttoDelicate, Elegant
    White WineChicken BrothSavory, Deep
    Non-Alcoholic White WineSimilar to Wine, No Alcohol
    GremolataOrange Zest & MintBright, Refreshing

    By understanding these substitutions and their effects on the final dish, you can confidently adapt your Osso Buco recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver to suit your pantry, your preferences, and your guests’ palates, all while maintaining the authentic and comforting essence of this Italian classic.

    Osso Buco: A Milanese Culinary Gem

    Origin and Variations

    Osso Buco is a specialty of Lombard cuisine, originating from the region of Lombardy in Italy. This dish is traditionally made with cross-cut veal shanks that are braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth. The marrow in the hole of the bone, a prized delicacy, is the defining feature of the dish.

    A Dish with a Story

    Osso Buco dates back to at least the 18th century, making it a dish with a rich history. It is believed to have been a staple in the winter months, providing a hearty and nourishing meal during the cold Milanese winters.

    The Two Main Types of Osso Buco

    1. Ossobuco in Bianco:
      • The older, more traditional version, which does not include tomatoes.
      • It is flavored with cinnamon, bay leaf, and gremolata—a vibrant mix of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.
      • Example: Imagine a snowy day in Milan; families would gather around the table for a comforting meal of Ossobuco in Bianco, its flavors reminiscent of historic Lombard cuisine.
    2. Modern Ossobuco:
      • The more popular recipe today, which includes tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions.
      • Gremolata is optional for this version, but it adds a fresh contrast to the rich, slow-cooked meat.
      • Example: Picture a modern Milanese kitchen, where the classic Osso Buco has been infused with vibrant tomatoes, creating a rich and colorful dish that is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

    Chart: Evolution of Osso Buco

    EraType of Osso BucoKey IngredientsGarnish
    18th CenturyOssobuco in BiancoVeal Shanks, White Wine, Cinnamon, Bay LeafGremolata
    Modern DayModern OssobucoVeal Shanks, Tomatoes, Carrots, Celery, OnionsOptional Gremolata

    The Perfect Pairing: Risotto alla Milanese or Polenta

    Traditionally, Osso Buco is served with either Risotto alla Milanese, a creamy, saffron-infused risotto, or Polenta, a soft cornmeal dish. These sides are not just accompaniments; they are integral to the Osso Buco experience, soaking up the rich sauce and complementing the tender meat.

    Example: In a nod to Jamie Oliver’s love of fresh, vibrant ingredients, consider serving your Osso Buco with a Risotto alla Milanese, bright with saffron and finished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

    The Marrow: A Prized Delicacy

    The marrow, found in the hole of the bone, is a defining feature of Osso Buco. It is rich, buttery, and intensely flavorful. In Milan, it is considered a delicacy and is the soul of the dish.

    Example: Following Jamie Oliver’s passion for using every part of the ingredient, savoring the marrow becomes a cherished part of enjoying Osso Buco. It’s a moment where you connect with the heart of Milanese culinary tradition.

    Osso Buco: The Heart of Milanese Cuisine

    Etymology: A Name with Meaning

    The name “Osso Buco” is Italian for “bone with a hole,” a direct reference to the marrow hole at the center of the cross-cut veal shank. In the Milanese variant of the Lombard language, this dish’s name is “òss bus,” which carries the same meaning.

    Example: Imagine Jamie Oliver explaining the name as he showcases the beautiful veal shanks, emphasizing the marrow as the star of this comforting dish.

    Preparation and Cooking: A Journey to Tenderness

    The primary ingredient, veal shank, is common, relatively cheap, and flavorful. Despite being tough, braising makes it tender. The shank is cross-cut into sections about 3 cm thick. Most recipes, including those inspired by Jamie Oliver’s approach to honest, flavorful cooking, start by browning the veal shanks in butter after dredging them in flour. The braising liquid is usually a combination of white wine and meat broth flavored with vegetables.

    Example: Picture Jamie Oliver in his kitchen, expertly browning the veal shanks to a golden perfection, explaining how this crucial step locks in the flavors and sets the stage for a succulent Osso Buco.

    Chart: Key Steps in Osso Buco Preparation

    1Dredging in FlourCreates a crust and helps to thicken the sauce
    2Browning in ButterDevelops flavor through caramelization
    3Braising with LiquidTenderizes the meat and melds flavors
    4Slow CookingAllows flavors to deepen and meat to become tender

    Accompaniments: Completing the Meal

    Risotto alla Milanese is the traditional accompaniment to Ossobuco in Bianco, making for a one-dish meal. However, especially in the tomato-based version prepared south of the Po River, Osso Buco is also eaten with polenta or mashed potatoes. In some regions, it is even served with pasta.

    Example: Imagine Jamie Oliver plating a vibrant Osso Buco atop a creamy Risotto alla Milanese, describing how this pairing is a match made in culinary heaven.

    Thought-Provoking Questions or Insights

    The Evolution of Osso Buco

    How has the recipe for Osso Buco evolved over time, and what are the key differences between the traditional “in bianco” version and the modern version with tomatoes?

    Insight: As Jamie Oliver often dives into the history of dishes, he might explain how Osso Buco in Bianco, the older version, reflects the simplicity of historic Italian cooking, while the tomato-based version mirrors the influence of New World ingredients on Italian cuisine.

    The Marrow Delicacy

    What is the cultural significance of the marrow in Osso Buco, and how is it enjoyed in various regions of Italy?

    Insight: Jamie Oliver might highlight the marrow as the “soul” of Osso Buco, a treasured delicacy that Italians eagerly scoop out with a small spoon or a piece of crusty bread.

    Pairing Perfection

    What are the best wine pairings for Osso Buco, and how do these choices complement the rich flavors of the dish?

    Insight: Picture Jamie Oliver raising a glass of Barolo, explaining how its robust flavor and deep red color make it the perfect companion to the rich and savory Osso Buco.


    As we’ve journeyed through the storied history and rich flavors of Osso Buco, we’ve uncovered not just a recipe, but a vibrant piece of Milanese culture. It’s a dish that, much like Jamie Oliver’s own cooking philosophy, marries simplicity with quality, tradition with personal touch.

    Osso Buco, translating to ‘bone with a hole,’ is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. From the succulent, slow-cooked veal shanks to the prized marrow nestled within, every bite is a taste of Italian history. In crafting an Osso Buco recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver, you’re not just following a set of instructions; you’re participating in a culinary tradition that stretches back centuries.

    Jamie Oliver, known for his heartfelt and approachable take on cooking, would likely revel in the authenticity of Osso Buco. He champions dishes that are deeply rooted in tradition, yet accessible and adaptable for the modern home cook. Picture him in his kitchen, passionately explaining the importance of browning the veal shanks just right, or the way the gremolata’s zesty freshness contrasts with the rich, tender meat.

    The accompaniments, whether it’s the golden, saffron-infused Risotto alla Milanese or the soft, comforting Polenta, are not mere sides, but integral partners to the Osso Buco. They complete the plate visually, texturally, and gastronomically, much as Jamie Oliver artfully composes his own dishes.

    And then there’s the wine – a thoughtful pairing that elevates the meal from a dinner to an occasion. Imagine Jamie Oliver, glass in hand, toasting to the harmony between the wine and the deep flavors of the Osso Buco, a true testament to the thoughtful craftsmanship of Italian cooking.

    In closing, crafting an Osso Buco recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver is about embracing both the technique and the heart that defines this Milanese gem. It’s about appreciating the story behind each ingredient and savoring the rich, comforting flavors that have made Osso Buco a beloved classic. As you stand in your kitchen, preparing this dish, you’re not just cooking; you’re becoming part of a beautiful, delicious narrative that spans both time and geography.

    So, as Jamie Oliver often encourages us, let’s celebrate the joy of cooking, the love of good food, and the pleasure of sharing it with others. Buon appetito!

    FAQ’s on Osso Buco Recipe From Jamie Oliver

    What is Osso Buco?

    Osso Buco is a traditional Italian dish made with braised veal shanks, slow-cooked with vegetables, white wine, and broth.

    Can I make Osso Buco with other meats?

    Yes, you can use lamb, pork, beef, or chicken instead of veal.

    How long does Osso Buco last in the fridge?

    Cooked Osso Buco can last in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

    Can Osso Buco be frozen?

    Yes, it freezes well and can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

    How do I thicken Osso Buco sauce?

    Remove the cooked meat, mix flour or cornstarch with cold water, and add this mixture to the sauce. Cook until it thickens.

    Why is Osso Buco so expensive?

    The primary cost is the veal shank meat, which is a pricier cut of meat.

    This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, an Executive Chef, Restaurant Manager, Professional Mixologist and Level 1 Sommelier. Ryan has over 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. With multipe degrees from Le Cordon Bleu in Hospitality and Restaurant Management as well as Culinary Arts; Ryan has managed to successfully grow and manage a variety of establishments, from casual dining to Michelin rated restaurants. Ryan uses his diverse experience to provide a comprehensive and knowledgeable guide on all aspects of the food and beverage industry.

    Ryan Yates

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