Braised food

Braised Beef Shanks Much More Than Holey Bones

Osso bucco translates from Italian to “bone with a hole,” not a pretentious title for something as rich as braised veal shank with vegetables.

The calf can be so expensive that you may have to sell your heirlooms to buy it. But there is good news. There are other bones with holes often surrounded by lots of meat and can be garnished with carrots, celery, onion and garlic, all simmered with tomato sauce and wine.

Plus, the dish is quick and easier to assemble than the instructions below would imply.

Look for beef shanks with a solid ring of meat surrounding the bone. Flour them and brown them. Chop the vegetables and put half of them in a Dutch oven, slow cooker or instant pot, add a little wine, followed by the browned shanks, then top with the rest of the vegetables.

Bake in the oven or slow cooker for two or three hours. If you have veal shanks or lamb, this method works with those too.

That’s it. We had mashed potatoes with ours. It warmed the very shells of our hearts this cold week.

Braised beef shanks

Braised beef shanks are a warm and hearty winter treat. Credit: Courtesy of Sandy Oliver

Olive oil

1-2 carrots

1-2 celery ribs

1 large onion

2-3 garlic cloves

White wine or water

Three to four rods


Red wine or water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed saucepan or stockpot, and place over medium heat.

Chop the vegetables and cook, adding about a quarter cup of white wine, until just tender. Reserve about half of the vegetables.

In another pan, add olive oil to cover the bottom and heat until shimmering.

Sprinkle flour on a plate and lay the shanks on both sides enough to coat the meat. Brown the shanks on both sides in olive oil.

Take the browned shanks and lay them over the vegetables in the Dutch oven or stove top and top with the reserved vegetables.

Add half a cup of red wine.

Cover and put in the oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 275 degrees and cook for two hours or until the meat is tender.

For three to four.