The Art Of Cooking Osso Bucco In The Oven

Osso bucco is a traditional Italian dish that has become popular around the world. This hearty meal is made with braised veal shanks that are slow-cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce until they become tender and flavorful. In this article, we will dive into the details of making osso bucco in the oven, from selecting the right ingredients to checking for doneness before serving.

Selection, Cleaning and Preparation

When making osso bucco, it is essential to select high-quality ingredients. Choose veal shanks that are fresh and have a good amount of marbling, which will impart flavor and moisture during cooking. You can also use beef shanks or pork shanks if you prefer. Make sure to clean the shanks thoroughly before cooking. Remove any excess skin or fat and pat the meat dry with paper towels.

Next, prepare the aromatic vegetables that will be the base of your sauce. This typically includes onions, carrots, and celery, which should be chopped into small pieces. You can also add other vegetables like garlic, leeks, and tomatoes for added flavor and complexity.

Finally, gather your spices and herbs, which may include bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, basil, and parsley. These will give your osso bucco a lovely bouquet of flavors that will complement the richness of the meat and sauce.

Food Science and Culinary Details

Osso bucco is a dish that requires a slow and steady cooking process to ensure that the meat becomes tender and falls off the bone. Slow cooking also allows the flavors of the meat and vegetables to meld together and develop into a delicious sauce.

In the oven, osso bucco is typically cooked at low heat, around 325-350°F, and covered with a lid or foil to prevent the meat from drying out. This helps to keep the meat juicy and tender while allowing the sauce to thicken and become more flavorful.

It is also important to monitor the level of liquid in the pot during cooking. You may need to add more water or broth as needed to prevent the sauce from becoming too thick or burning.

Tips and Variations

osso bucco

When making osso bucco in the oven, there are a few tips and variations you can try to make the dish even more delicious.

  • Brown the meat before braising to give it a rich caramelized flavor and color.

  • Use a mixture of beef broth and red wine for a deeper, more complex sauce.

  • Add olives, capers, or anchovies to the sauce for a salty, umami flavor.

  • Serve with gremolata, a mixture of lemon zest, parsley, and garlic, for a fresh and bright contrast to the rich meat and sauce.

Doneness Check

To check whether the osso bucco is done, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. The meat is considered to be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Alternatively, you can use a fork or knife to pierce the meat; it should be tender and fall off the bone easily.


oven baked osso bucco

Now, let’s get into the recipe for osso bucco in the oven:


  • 4 veal shanks

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 1 sprig thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

  2. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper and coat them with flour.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.

  4. Add the veal shanks to the pot and brown them on all sides; this should take about 5-7 minutes.

  5. Remove the veal shanks and set them aside.

  6. In the same pot, add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes.

  7. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  8. Deglaze the pot with red wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom.

  9. Add the beef broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and basil, then stir to combine.

  10. Return the veal shanks to the pot, making sure they are covered with sauce.

  11. Cover the pot with a lid or foil and place it in the oven.

  12. Cook for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily.

  13. Serve the osso bucco with the sauce and some chopped parsley on top.

Overcooking and Undercooking

It is essential to avoid overcooking or undercooking your osso bucco to get the best flavor and texture. Overcooking can cause the meat to become too dry and tough, while undercooking can leave you with chewy, stringy meat.

If you notice that the sauce is becoming too thick or sticking to the pot, you may need to add more liquid or reduce the heat to prevent overcooking. If the meat is not tender enough, you can continue cooking it for another hour or so until it reaches the desired texture.


Osso bucco is a classic Italian dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner party or a special occasion. With slow cooking in the oven, this dish becomes an art and a phenomenon that will result in a decadent and flavorful meal. By following our tips and recipe, you can create a delicious and rich osso bucco that your guests will love.

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  • FAQS On Osso Bucco Oven Recipe

    What Is Osso Buco And How Is It Traditionally Made?

    Osso buco is a classic Italian dish that consists of braised veal shanks. Traditionally, it is made by searing the veal shanks and then simmering them in a flavorful combination of vegetables, broth, white wine, and tomatoes. The slow cooking process allows the meat to become tender and the flavors to infuse beautifully.

    Can I Make Osso Buco In The Oven Instead Of On The Stovetop?

    Absolutely! While osso buco is traditionally cooked on the stovetop, it can also be prepared in the oven. By using the oven, you can achieve similar results with less hands-on cooking time. The oven’s gentle and even heat helps to slowly cook the meat and develop rich flavors.

    What Temperature Should I Set My Oven To For Cooking Osso Buco?

    It is recommended to preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C) for osso buco. This temperature allows for slow and steady cooking, ensuring that the meat remains tender and juicy. It also allows the flavors to meld together harmoniously.

    How Long Does Osso Buco Need To Cook In The Oven?

    The cooking time for osso buco in the oven can vary depending on the size of the veal shanks and your preferred level of tenderness. As a general guideline, osso buco typically takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to cook in the oven. However, it is crucial to check the meat regularly for doneness and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    What Are Some Tips For Successful Osso Buco In The Oven?

    To ensure a successful osso buco in the oven, it is essential to brown the veal shanks well before placing them in the cooking vessel. This step helps in developing a deep, rich flavor. Additionally, use a Dutch oven or an oven-safe, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid to maintain moisture and flavor during the cooking process. It’s also advisable to periodically baste the veal shanks with the braising liquid to keep them moist. And lastly, for a truly authentic touch, consider serving osso buco with a gremolata topping of chopped garlic, lemon zest, and parsley to brighten the flavors.