RECIPE: Ossobuco

The long cold fall and winter months here in Canada are an exciting time for a chef, full of opportunity and challenge. Our palates turn to richer, heartier dishes full of flavour and nourishment. We shift to slower, deeper cooking methods such as roasting and braising to bring out the best in the bounty of root vegetables and tougher cuts of meat.

One of my favourite cold weather dishes is Ossobuco. Traditionally served over a bed of Risotto Milanese, I find that the addition of one of Italy’s most prestigious ingredients – porcini mushrooms – adds a complexity that takes the richness of this dish to another level.

The dish is not difficult to make, just a bit lengthy. Allow yourself plenty of time to let the meat braise – the longer it cooks, the more deeply the flavours of the veal, marrow and sauce will coalesce. It’s also important to let the cooked Ossobuco rest in the pan before serving. Let it sit submerged in the braising liquid to allow the meat a last chance to absorb a bit more of that rich sauce.

When it’s time to serve, include a small espresso spoon for each guest to scoop out the marrow and spread on pieces of crusty bread.

I hope you will try Ossobuco this fall or winter. Not only will the slow braising of the veal bones fill your home with an irresistible perfume, but the amazing meal that follows is enough to make a cold weather lover out of anyone. With plenty of protein, you’ll have the energy you need to get out there and shovel the driveway, again.

Buon appetito!


RECIPE: Ossobuco

  • Author: Chef Roberto Fracchioni
  • Yield: 6 people 1x



6 pcs. Ossobuco – Veal, cut 1 ½ to 2 inches thick

200 ml. Vegetable Oil

200 ml. Olive Oil

500 ml. Finely Diced Onion

250 ml. Finely Diced Carrot

250 ml. Finely Diced Celery

50 ml. Garlic – Cut In Half – Sprout Removed

2 Stalks Fresh Oregano

1 Stalk Fresh Rosemary

2 Leaves Fresh Lovage

2 Leaves Fresh Bay Leaf (or ½ pc Dried)

3 Leaves Fresh Sage

60 gr. Dried Porcini Mushrooms

2 Tbl. Tomato Paste

300 ml. Dry Red Wine

200 ml. Beef Stock

1 Litre San Marzano Tomatoes D.O.P. – Crushed


Sear The Meat:

  • Pre heat oven to 190˚C (375˚F).
  • Place a heavy bottom pan (cast iron pans work best) over high heat and allow pan to get very hot.
  • Generously season the cut sides of the meat with salt and pepper. If the Ossobuco is purchased frozen, do not allow it to thaw, we will cook it from frozen.
  • Add the vegetable oil and half of the olive oil to the pan and immediately add the Ossobuco. Do this in batches if they won’t all fit in the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium high and sear the meat until dark brown and crispy.
  • Flip the meat over and sear the other side.
  • Once the meat is seared and crispy on both sides, remove from the pan and turn off heat under the pan. Let the pan cool completely before removing it from the stove.


Make The Braising Liquid:

  • In a large pot (at least 3 litres) add the remaining olive oil and turn the heat to low.
  • Add the diced vegetables and garlic along with some salt and pepper and cook over low heat until the carrots are soft.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add the herbs and porcini mushrooms, continue to cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Add the wine to the pot and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any stuck on bits of tomato paste.
  • Add the stock and tomatoes to the pot along with some salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to come together.


Assemble The Stew:

  • Carefully ladle out ¼ of the braising liquid into an oven proof roasting pan large enough to fit the seared meat in a single layer.
  • Place the seared meat on top of the braising liquid, then pour in the remaining liquid.
  • The Ossobuco should be covered with the braising liquid, if not add more stock to the roasting pan.
  • Cover with a sheet of parchment paper then wrap tightly with aluminum foil.



  • Roast in the oven on the middle rack until the meat is soft and tender but not falling completely off the bone, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the braising liquid for at least ½ hour.
  • Gently and carefully remove the meat from the pan and serve.

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