Veal ossobuco with saffron risotto

Veal ossobuco with saffron risotto

Veal ossobuco served with saffron risotto is another great classic of Milanese tradition.

Ossobuco literally means “hollow bone” and this cut of meat is prized not only for its delicious, moist meat but also for the final “prize”as I call it, which is the abundant bone marrow contained in the bone.

Bone marrow and risotto is, for me, a match made in heaven!

The sauce is composed of carrots, celery and onions – which I always tend to replace with shallots, as I find them milder and easier to digest – and teams beautifully with the saffron and the rice.

This type of meat benefits from a long, slow cooking and can also be served with some creamy polenta or baked potatoes instead of risotto.

If you want to serve it with saffron risotto, plan ahead by making your stock the previous day, let it cool down in the fridge and skim it before using it, to avoid an over-fatty risotto.

Veal ossobuco with saffron risotto

For the veal:


2-3 hours, depending on the size of the ossobuco slices

Ingredients (for 2 people)

2 veal ossobuco slices

Extra virgin olive oil

2 small carrots, coarsely chopped 

1-2 shallots, coarsely chopped 

1-2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped 

Some all purpose white flour



500 ml meat stock

A dash of white wine

Lemon peel

A teaspoon of concentrated tomato paste


Black pepper


  1. In a large pan, heat up some extra virgin olive oil, add a sprig of rosemary and a couple of sage leaves. Add the chopped vegetables and stir fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Lightly dust both sides of the ossobuco slices with  some flour. Pat the slices to spread the flour evenly but do not press.
  3. Add the meat to the pan with the vegetables and cook for 7-8 minutes per side, until light brown. 
  4. Add a dash of white wine and let it evaporate.
  5. Add salt, pepper, some grated lemon peel and the concentrated tomato paste. Add the meat stock to cover the meat. Cover with a lid, leaving it slightly open and cook on a medium heat for 2 to 3 hours. Check the meat is tender before you turn off the heat.
  6. If you like, while the meat is cooking prepare the saffron risotto. Serve the meat piping hot in individual plates on a bed of risotto, covered with its vegetables and sauce.


– You can prepare the ossobuco in advance and store it in the fridge in its pan with the sauce and vegetables for up to 2 days.