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This is a wonderful winter dish – warm, filling and very tasty. Osso Buco is an Italian dish that means bone with a hole in it.
You can use either veal or lamb shanks. Shank meat is really tender and flavoursome if you cook it for a few hours.
It's also one of the cheapest cuts of meat. Ask your butcher to cut the shank into two-inch thick pieces.
Dust the shanks lightly in flour. Heat half the oil in a fry pan and seal the shanks on all sides until they are golden.
Heat the rest of the oil in a casserole dish and fry off the onions, carrot and rosemary until just softened (with no colour).
Place the shanks on top of the vegetables and pour in the tomato.
Cover with the white wine and season with salt & pepper.
Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover.
Simmer for 90 minutes.
Turn the shanks over and add in the beans, lemon zest, parsley and garlic and simmer covered for another 45 minutes until the beans are cooked and the lamb is falling off the bones. (If using dried beans soak them in water overnight. If using tinned just add them in near the end of cooking to heat through).
Pour the polenta into the boiling salted water in a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until it has thickened and cooked out for about 10 minutes (turn the heat down if it starts to stick to the bottom).
Add the cream and cheese and season with a touch of pepper.
Place the osso buco on the plate and spoon some polenta mash next to it.
Garnish with a parsley sprig and enjoy with a glass of red.
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