A sort of Osso Buco

This recipe comes from Belinda Jeffrey’s The Country Cook Book: Seasonal Jottings and Recipes.  In her words, it is ‘a sort of’ Osso Buco, and bloody good it was, too.

The Country Cookbook is not my favourite Belinda Jeffrey book.  In fact, I probably like it the least of all her books.  But I some times find I feel this way about a book only because I haven’t really given it a chance.  Giving The Country Cookbook another go, I came across a recipe: Risoni with Saffron and Lemon.

It caught my eye as we have had some risoni in the cupboard longer than it is polite to mention.  As an aside to the risoni recipe, Belinda mentioned that she likes to serve risoni, rather than risotto, with osso buco.  ‘Mmm …’ I thought, ‘something different’.

The risoni recipe will be covered in the next post.  Wait for it because it was a great combo.


  • olive oil
  • 3 large brown onions, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 carrots, cubed
  • 2 tbs sun-dried tomato pesto (I found Leggos at the local supermarket, but there must be other brands)
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1.5 kg veal shin (The 6 pieces of meat I bought were actually labelled ‘osso buco’ and were very good.)
  • 1 x 400g can tomatoes (or the equivalent fresh or preserved)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbs thyme leaves (I didn’t have any so I used 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)
  • 1 tbs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 – 4 bay leaves

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof casserole dish over low heat.  Add the onions, garlic and carrots and cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato pesto and continue cooking for another minute or so.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, red wine, water, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.  Stir it all together, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Coat the meat pieces in flour.
  5. In a separate pan, heat some more olive oil and brown the meat (about 5 minutes on each side).  Do two at a time so as not to crowd the pan.
  6. When all the meat is browned, put it into the casserole dish.  Press it down into the other ingredients.
  7. Press a sheet of baking paper on top of the mixture, making sure it fits snuggly.
  8. Cover the pan with the lid or if the pan you are using does not have a lid, Belinda recommends using double thickness foil.  You could prepare up to this stage in the morning and put it in the fridge until you want to bake it (which is what I did), or continue on.
  9. Place the casserole dish in a preheated 165°C oven for about 2½ hours or until the meat is very tender and starting to fall away from the bone.

This was really lovely, especially served with the risoni.  Stay tuned for that recipe.  This is the type of food that is really great for cold winter nights.

This amount, with the risoni, would serve 6, easily.  As I mentioned, I bought six pieces of meat.

Postscript:  Here is the link to the Risoni with Saffron & Lemon recipe.


5 thoughts on “A sort of Osso Buco

  1. I don’t remember seeing either veal shin or osso buco in my groceries – not that this fact should be surprising – there’s a lot we don’t have! That looks and sounds wonderful – I make lamb shanks (which I’ll assume is the same part on a lamb as on a veal – yes?) in that same fashion.

    Another language question- is tomato pesto what we call, tomato paste? (concentrated tomato pulp) And I notice that your bay leaves are fresh – do you have a bay plant? Or are you able to buy fresh bay leaves?

    Golly, all those questions – I’m a real pest, huh?

    • Hi Doc
      The meat used for Osso Buco is the shin cut horizontally. Each piece of meat has the cut marrow bone in it. It is usually cut about an inch thick. Osso Buco is so popular here the supermarkets sell the cut as ‘Osso Buco’.
      The tomato pesto is new to me, too. It is not tomato paste but a condiment made from sun dried tomatoes, capsicum, pinenuts, oil, herbs, etc. I found the Leggo brand on the shelf in the supermarket where they sell tomato paste, puree, pesto, etc. I am sure you could replace it with finely chopped dried tomatoes – It just gives a taste boost.

      I have a bay tree down south so, yes, the leaves are fresh. The ones used in the pea and ham soup were frozen. I brought several twiggs back to Perth and put them in the freezer for later use. They freeze very well.

      Oh, BTW, my third attempt at ciabatta was worse than my second attempt. I think I should give up. I might try Celia’s recipe. My starter is fine, I tested it. It doubles in 5 hours and was able to triple its original volume. That is not bad. I have one other thought on what I could do differently. I might try that before I give up.

  2. Osso Buco is one of my favourite winter dishes Glenda, and very reasonably priced meat too.
    I prefer the slow cooker as you just forget about it until it is ready.

  3. Pingback: Risoni with Saffron and Lemon | Passion Fruit Garden

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