Osso Buco with Lemon Zest

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This lightened adaptation of a classic northern Italian dish is from former chef Bruce Lim and executive chef Jean-Marie Lacroix at the Fountain Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. The technique of slowly simmering meat with chopped vegetables, then using the pureed vegetables to give body to the sauce is a very effective way to thicken the gravy, adding flavor without fat.


  • Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 meaty veal shank, split by the butcher into 6 even pieces, about inch thick (about pounds)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) zucchini
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) red onion
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) carrot
  • ½ cup diced (¼ inch) celery
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth, homemade, or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 strip (2 × ½ inch) lemon zest
  • ¼ cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves, with thin stems
  • Steamed Vegetables (recipe follows)


    • Select a heavy Dutch oven, preferably nonstick. Brush pan with a light film of vegetable oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the pieces of veal over medium heat until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
    • Heat the oven to 350°F.
    • Stack the veal on 1 side of the pan, add the wine, and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini, red onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring the vegetables, until liquid has reduced, about 5 minutes. Arrange veal in a single layer in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    • Whisk together the chicken broth and tomato paste in a small bowl until smooth. Pour over and around the veal, cover, and bake until the veal is tender, about 40 minutes.
    • Transfer veal to 6 warm serving plates and cover loosely with foil. Leave vegetables and juices in pan. Puree the vegetables and juices in a food mill or food processor. Return juices to the Dutch oven over medium heat and boil briefly, until slightly reduced. Finely chop the lemon zest and parsley together. Stir and add half of the lemon-parsley mixture to the juices. Correct seasonings. Spoon sauce evenly over each piece of veal; arrange steamed vegetables on the platter. Sprinkle meat and vegetables with the remaining lemon-parsley mixture. Serve immediately.