The easiest way to make super tender and thick bone marrow osso buco.
How often do you go over the pasta portion of the menu at a good Italian restaurant? We usually never do. But if I see an osso buco on the menu, I make room to order it. how not to love someone slow braised, melt-in-your-mouth beef shank in tomato sauce with veal and marrow? Sometimes you even get a small spoon for the bone marrow. If it’s on the menu, you can bet it’s usually the best thing on the menu. Osso buco is even often served with pasta, so it’s a win-win for everyone!
But even better, you can make it at home in an hour in the Instant Pot for 1/4 the cost. It tastes like being a slave in the kitchen for hours. It’s perfect for special occasions, but easy enough that you can also have it any night of the week.
What is ossobuco?
Osso buco is an Italian dish of veal leg braised long in a white wine marrow-infused sauce that originated in Lombardy. The long braising time melts the connective tissues in the leg and leaves you with meat that melts in your mouth. It tastes amazing because the stem cut is a complex muscle filled with collapsed connective tissue. ‘Cause it slowly stews on the bone (Stewed beef means pierced bone), the marrow infuses the sauce, giving it incredible richness and flavor.
Historically, this recipe did not include tomatoes because it was a new world crop, but today almost everyone makes it with tomatoes. This version we’re making today takes it to another level with a fresher tasting tomato passata sauce instead of the classic canned tomatoes.
Comment making an osso bucco
- Brown beef thighs well on both sides. I use the Instant Pot sauté setting on high for 2-3 minutes on each side with a splatter guard on top and it honestly works better than doing it on the stovetop. The Instant Pot’s high sides mean much less spillage and mess.
- Cook your herbs. Transfer the beef shank to a plate or something else to catch the juices, then add the aromatics and cook until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Deglaze with the wine. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot with a wooden spoon or spatula. Let the wine cook until reduced by half, at least 2 minutes.
- Cook over low heat. Add the beef shank, passata, and herbs to the Instant Pot and cook over high heat for 1 hour. You will be rewarded with the most tender and disintegrating meat.
instant osso buco
Osso buco is classically an all-day braising affair, but, if there’s one thing the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) excels at, it’s the smashing braising times for such dishes. This is by far the best option, in my opinion. If you don’t have any, you can simmer it until tender on the stovetop; it will just take longer, around 4 to 6 hours. You can also brown the meat and aromatics in an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, then transfer to a 250-300°F oven for 4-6 hours. If going on the stovetop or in the oven, check occasionally to make sure the liquid level isn’t too low.
Slow cooker osso buco (or griddle too)
But what if you don’t have an Instant Pot handy? The best in this case is a slow cooker. The slow cooker can’t get hot enough to brown the meat, so you’ll still need to cook some on the stovetop, but it’s just as simple:
- Brown your meats in a large skillet over high heat. Transfer to the slow cooker and set to high.
- cook the vegetables in same skillet until tender, about 2 minutes.
- add wine and reduce, about 2 minutes.
- add a passata. Once heated, transfer everything to the slow cooker and cook slowly for 5 to 6 hours.
- reduce heat to low after about 2 hours.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can bring it to a simmer in the skillet; Just add the legs, partially cover, and set to your lowest temperature. Return every hour and add water or passata as needed.
Dinner and relax special
Traditionally, there are many more ingredients and steps to this dish, but here I kept it to a minimum and let the flavors speak for themselves. Before writing this recipe, Steph and I went to a very famous Italian restaurant. We tried their 24-hour osso buco made with veal leg and extra marrow bones. It was awesome, but this one compares favorably and is so much easier.
The biggest step I eliminated is the flour dredging. Usually, people dip the leg in flour and use it to brown the meat and thicken the sauce. I don’t think I need it, the marrow thickened sauce is more than enough and the flour is still a mess. If you want to do this, it will add a bit of extra body to both your meat and your sauce.
Veal vs beef leg
The default meat choice for osso buco is veal, but I’ve found veal shank to be pretty hard to find. It’s worth looking into if you want to stay true to the original. You should be able to find some at your local butcher or large supermarket. Meat tastes just as good (if not better) and is much easier to find. It’s often even cheaper, although technically veal should be a cheaper meat.
- hock it’s an inexpensive cut that should be easy to find. If you can’t get it at your local grocery store, whole foods will have beef legs (but not veal).
- Herbs make a bouquet garni I just threw in a sprig of oregano because that’s what we had and it was great. If you have bay leaves, fresh thyme, fresh Italian parsley, etc. feel free to add a little. If not, just skip it, the recipe doesn’t need it.
- Approved It is a puree of drained raw tomatoes. I chose the passata because the fresh tomato flavor really brightens up the dish, but if you have a can of crushed tomatoes feel free to use that.
- White wine. Wine adds complexity and authenticity to the dish that cannot be replaced. If you need to be non-alcoholic, you can substitute sodium-free chicken broth.
How do you serve it?
Osso buco is usually served with risotto, gnocchi, or pasta, but we like ours with bread or on its own. If you plan on eating it on its own, you may want to double the recipe to get enough meat for 2.
If you really wanted to take it a step further (for a Valentine’s Day dinner at home, for example), a little caviar makes this one of the best surf and turfs you could make at home.
The Easiest Osso Buco Instant Pot Recipe Ever
Nothing could be easier for Osso Buco than 6 ingredients and 1 hour of cooking.
- 1/4 medium onion chopped up
- 1 small carrot chopped up
- 2 cloves afflict sliced
- 1 section leg of beef or beef about 1 pound
- 1 taxes White wine Favorite Italian Pinot Grigio/Blanc
- 1/2 taxes past or crushed tomatoes
- 1-2 strands fresh herbs I only used 1 sprig of oregano
Coarsely chop the onion, carrots and garlic.
Preheat your Instant Pot to Jump high and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Pat your legs dry and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
Once your Instant Pot is hot enough (for me, it’s about 2 minutes after it goes off), sear your legs 1-2 minutes on each side.
Remove the leg and add the onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until tender – 2-4 minutes.
Add the wine and deglaze, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce until about half of the wine remains: 2-3 minutes.
Add the passata, herbs if using, and the legs to the pan. Set the pressure to high and cook over low heat for 1 hour. Quickly release when done and serve, garnish with grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, and flat-leaf parsley of your choice.
The Easiest Osso Buco Instant Pot Recipe Ever
Amount per proportion
Calories from fat 128
% Daily value*
saturated fat 5.3g33%
Cholesterol 203 milligrams68%
The carbohydrates 8.9g3%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.