Braised veal shanks in white wine

This recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan's More Classic Italian Cooking. Simple to make, this dish beats any "traditional" osso bucco with tomatoes and vegetables that I've had in the U.S. or Italy.


(serves 4)


  1. Dredge the veal shank pieces well in flour.
  2. In a large skillet with high sides, heat the olive oil and butter over moderately high heat until the butter stops foaming. If you do not have a skillet large enough to accommodate all of the meat in a single layer, use two smaller pans.
  3. Add the veal shanks to the skillet and arrange in a single layer. Cook over moderately high heat until browned on one side.
  4. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  5. Turn meat and brown the other side, and add salt and pepper.
  6. Add enough white wine to nearly, but not quite, cover the meat. Reduce heat to a barely bubbling simmer. Cover with a well-fitting lid. Cook at a simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Peel a thin layer of rind from the lemon. (I find that a vegetable peeler gives me a nice thin layer of rind.) Cut rind into fine strips.
  8. Remove veal shanks to a warm plate. The meat will be falling-off-the-bone tender, so a wide spatula is advised for this step to keep each shank intact. Keep meat warm through the next several steps.
  9. Add lemon peel and chopped parsley to the sauce and place over high heat. Boil vigorously for several minutes to reduce sauce slightly. Stir to loosen any brown bits from the pan and then frequently to prevent burning.
  10. Remove from heat and return shanks to skillet. Spoon sauce over shanks and replace skillet lid. Let sit for 3-5 minutes to reheat shanks.
  11. Serve with sauce over shanks.


Veal shanks are a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. If possible, ask your butcher to use hind shanks which have more meat than do the forelegs. The key to this dish is the quality of the ingredients. I use the best olive oil (Italian, virgin first-press, cold-press) and table quality dry white wine (fume or sauvignon blanc) I can find at a reasonable price.

For dredging, rather than using a plate of flour, I put about 2/3 cup flour in a plastic bag, put in the shanks one at a time, and shake to thoroughly cover all sides of the meat with flour.

The flavor of the dish is light so I usually serve with a home-made pasta dish with a cream-based sauce and a steamed green vegetable. Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread on hand to soak up the sauce. For those who like the marrow, don't forget to spoon it out of the shanks.


Difficulty: moderate.
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 3 hours cooking.
Precision: approximate measurement OK.


Pamela McGarvey 
UCLA Comprehensive Epilepsy Program 
Recipe last modified: 21 Jul 86

Original header

Path: decwrl!recipes
From: pam@cepu (Pamela McGarvey)
Newsgroups: mod.recipes
Subject: RECIPE: White osso bucco
Message-ID: <5710@decwrl.DEC.COM>
Date: 3 Oct 86 03:34:15 GMT
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Organization: UCLA Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
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