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Braising is to winter what barbecuing is to summer. When temperature drops, we start to crave food which is slow cooked and full of flavour.

Winter warmers don’t get any better than the classic Italian comfort-food dish, osso buco. Osso buco means “bone with a hole” and is traditionally made with veal or beef shanks.

The best-known version of this dish is from Milan where it is usually served with saffron risotto and gremolata which is a mixture of finely-grated lemon peel, parsley and garlic.


(Serves 4)

Osso Buco Alla Milanese

  • 4 beef osso buco shanks 30ml thick each
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 brown onions
  • 300g peeled tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • A little plain or corn flour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

For the gremolata

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley
  • ½ lemon rind
  • Finely chop all together and sprinkle over the osso bucco just before serving

Risotto Alla Milanese Saffron Risotto

  • 120g butter
  • 2 litres vegetable stock (hot)
  • 400g Carnaroli rice
  • 60g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • Brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1g saffron threads
  • salt to taste


Osso Buco Alla Milanese

  1. Chop the carrots, celery and onions in to small cubes and fry with a little oil, stirring for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until softened. Place in a large oven tray.
  2. Dust the osso bucco with flour and fry each piece in oil on low heat for a minute each side. Place in the tray with the vegetables. Add the tomato, wine and bay leaves, season with salt and cover the tray tightly with baking paper and alfoil.
  3. Place in pre-heated oven at 170c for 2.5 hours. Serve with the risotto (recipe below)

Risotto Alla Milanese Saffron Risotto

Vegetable stock
In a small pot, combine one celery stick, one carrot, ½ brown onion and some parsley stalks with 2 lires of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.

Soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of cold water. Place onion with half of the butter in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over moderate heat. When slightly browned, add rice and stir over low heat until translucent. Add stock one ladle at a time and continue stirring, gradually adding more stock as it is absorbed by the rice.

When rice is ready (approx. 18 mins), remove from the stove, add the saffron, cheese and remaining butter, stir well, add more stock if needed to achieve a loose, creamy consistency (risotto should run to one side if you tip the plate on an angle) and serve immediately.

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