Osso Buco with Risotto Milanese

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Keep it Simple

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1993

  • About

The Milanese are the undisputed masters of veal cooking and this is one of their greatest dishes. Most recipes for the classic osso buco use tomatoes, but I prefer the veal shanks cooked bianco. It is important to get your butcher to cut the individual pieces thickly enough for marrow retention, as the meat cooks and pulls away from the bone. Many recipes also call for a mirepoix in the first stage of cooking which is then strained out and discarded, a finer brunoise being substituted to finish the dish. This seems to me unnecessary.

Risotto Milanese is the archetypal risotto, golden from saffron and flavoured with fine chicken broth. It is the most simple and pure in effect, for there is nothing to distract from the rice. It is therefore, ironically, the most difficult to achieve perfectly. This is the risotto over which the ultimate luxury is to shave white truffles, but it is also the only risotto to be served as an accompaniment, traditionally as here with osso buco. Some Italian recipes also call for the addition of beef or veal marrow, but this seems to me an unnecessary extra richness. See for my fuller treatment of the cooking of risotto.