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Recipe: Joel's Osso Buco in Bianco

Most people outside of Italy know osso buco (or bucco) as a rich tomato based meat braise that hails from the northern city of Milan, but at Lalla Rookh we cook a very different version. And for me, this very simple dish that is found throughout the provinces of the former Venetian republic is better suited to the rich sweet taste of bobby veal.

Joel Valvasori Osso Buco


Oil (a light flavoured oil is best for this dish. Try corn or vegetable oil or a light olive oil)

3 cloves garlic, sliced

Small handful of rosemary, finely chopped

Small handful of sage, finely chopped

1 large white onion

2 bay leaves

2 knobs of butter



1 kg bobby veal osso buco (4 pieces)

200 ml white wine

Chicken stock or water as required

Choose a large heavy based pot. One that’s big enough to fit all your pieces of osso buco on the bottom. Heat some oil in the pot to a medium to high heat.

Season all of your pieces of meat with salt and pepper and place flat side down in the oil. Slowly caramelise the pieces of meat. Try not to develop any burnt characteristics in the pot. Once you have a nice golden colour on the meat, remove them from pot. Retain the oil in the pot. Lower the heat and add your sliced garlic and chopped herbs and fry until garlic is light golden. When golden, add your diced onion, bay leaves and butter and a nice pinch of salt. Stir frequently until the onions have sweated down and are starting to become sweet and golden. Return your meat to the pot and add the white wine. Cover with an ajar lid and set your burner to its lowest setting.

Simmer until tender. This will take at least a couple of hours and will vary depending on the thickness and age of the meat. Be sure to keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the pot. The veal will release its own liquid into the pot, but some extra is usually required in the form of a good chicken stock or even some water. As a rule, keep enough liquid to ¾ cover the meat. To finish, reduce the sauce until thick. Adjust seasoning if required.

This dish goes great with dishes like ‘fagiolini in umido’ (stewed beans with tomato). It is also really good with starches like polenta and mashed potato, and goes really well with the Venetian dish ‘risi e bisi’ (stewed rice and peas).

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