It undoubted began as a peasant farmers dish. When your oxen dropped in it’s tracks the only methods or eating it lower legs or shanks was to braise them. The local elite would most likely get the best cuts. It’s not haute cuisine so just prod you way through and add you own devices. Variations exist around the world using a variety of different animals.

Here’s a little primary tutorial video

Kind of an Italian pot roast and it can be made with pork, beef or veal and I assume you could make it with turkey legs or lamb shanks – in fact I used to do American Bison and elk.  Traditionally the recipe calls for veal shanks but you could use anything with plenty of attached bone marrow like beef ribs too.  And this is the kind of leftover you want for cannelloni, ravioli, or lasagna!  In Italian it means bone with a hole and formal table service used to include marrow spoons so you could mine the bone marrow from the shanks.  We’ll also make a Battuto,  a  component that has many names in many cultures, which simply put is a fine minced of vegetables and herbs sweated in pork fat and added as an aromatic during the cooking in this case at the end of the process.

Here are several video recipes … just remember it’s peasant food so you have lots of room for creativity.

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh sage – or dry rubbed

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped Italian

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 rashers of bacon

2 pounds sliced beef shanks – 1” thick

2 cups mirepoix (carrots, onion, celery) equal portions, cubed

3 cups meat stock

3 tablespoons tomato paste or spaghetti sauce – sundried tomatoes

To taste salt/pepper – chicken stock

olive oil


  1. Process the first six ingredients of the BATTUTO and sweat till thickened, remove from heat and reserve
  2. Dredge the shanks in seasoned flour and brown in olive oil using a deep brazier
  3. Add the mirepoix of celery, onion, and carrot, the wine, the meat stock and the tomato product.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for two hours
  4. Add the BATTUTO and simmer for additional 15 minutes then adjust seasonings with granulated chicken base or salt/pepper

Many Osso Bucco recipes include a table condiment called germolta which is mince of lemon zest, parsley and garlic that you add to your serving but we really don’t need that since we’ve constructed and used the battuto.