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Italian Food - Osso Buco and Risotto alla Milanese

Updated on December 9, 2012

Osso Buco and Risotto alla Milanese

Italian Food

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Osso Buco and Risotto ala Milnese


Milan is the second largest city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. It is also the economic, financial and fashion capital of Italy and the home of the La Scala opera house. Being in the north, its cuisine is based more on butter and rice rather than olive oil and pasta and it is the home of Grana Padano cheese which is somewhat similar to Parmigiano Regiano.


One of the classic dishes from Milan is osso buco, which is made with veal shanks that are braised in a rich sauce made with tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, chicken stock and white wine. This dish is frequently served with risotto alla Milanese, which is also made with chicken stock and white wine along with saffron and white truffles if you can afford them.


The following recipes are my versions of these classic dishes with minor modifications. You may choose to use fresh herbs but I rarely have them around and frankly, they cost too much unless you grow your own.

Osso Buco (Braised Veal Shanks)




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes

Baking Time:

2 ½ Hours @ 300F



6 Veal Shanks (about 2-3 Lbs.)

2 Oz. of Pancetta or Bacon diced

1 Tablespoon of Oil

One Large Onion peeled and diced

3 Celery Stalks finely chopped

3 Carrots scraped and finely chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic peeled and finely chopped

1-28 Oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes

2 Cans of Chicken Broth

1 Cup of Dry white Wine

1 Bay Leaf

1 Tablespoon of Thyme

1 Teaspoon of Rosemary

2-3 Cloves (ground if you have them)

½ Cup of Flour

2 Teaspoons of Salt

½ Teaspoon of Pepper


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a one gallon ziplock bag and mix thoroughly
  2. Add half of the veal shanks, seal the bag and shake until the meat is completely coated with seasoned flour.
  3. Repeat the process with the other half of the shanks.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven and render the bacon.
  5. Brown the veal shanks on all sides in two batches and remove them to a separate plate.
  6. Add the chopped carrots, onions and celery to the pan and cook while stirring until they start to brown.
  7. De-glaze the pan with the wine and the stock and add the rest of the ingredients to the pan if you are using a Dutch oven. Otherwise, transfer everything to a covered roaster or baking dish’
  8. Return the meat to the pan and cook covered for 2 to 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender. The gravy should thicken from the flour that was on the meat.


Risotto alla Milanese




Preparation Time:

20 Minutes

Cooking Time:

20 Minutes



2 Cups Aborio Rice

5 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Small Onion finely chopped

½ Stick Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Dry White Wine

¼ Teaspoon Saffron Threads

1 Cup Grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano


Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the chicken stock to a bare simmer in a small saucepan.
  2. Place the saffron in ½ cup of the hot stock in a small covered bowl to let it soften.
  3. Heat the butter over moderate heat in another saucepan, add the chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring.
  4. Add the rice and continue cooking for 4 more minutes until it turns opaque.
  5. Add the wine while stirring and cook 2-3 minutes until it is all absorbed.
  6. Repeat with the remaining stock a half-cup at a time.
  7. Finally add the saffron infused stock.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese before serving.

If you really want something special, you can stir in some fine white truffle slices before adding the cheese.


How to make Osso Bucco

How to make Risotto

Milan, Italy

Milan Collage
Milan Collage

Location of Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy:
Milan, Italy

get directions

Rome, Italy:
Rome, Italy

get directions

Venice, Italy:
Venice, Italy

get directions


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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      8 years ago

      Most of my Italian family is from the southern regions so I have very few of these kinds of recipes. This is an excellent recipe and I thank you for sharing this. It will make an excellent addition to my collection. Voted up and useful.

    • emimemo profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I have been to Roma, but never been to Milan(Milano?). It seems to have more modern buildings. I didn't know that Milan uses butter instead of olive oil. Cool to know something that only local people know. Thank you for sharing. Looks so yummy.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 

      8 years ago from San Jose, California

      It's nice to see an Italian recipe with ingredients that are different from olive oil and pasta. I love Italian food. This is a must try recipe. Thank you for sharing it. Voted up and awesome!


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