Ossobuco alla Milanese

Slow-cooked veal and quick-cook polenta combine in Ed Baines' hearty Italian supper spiked with a traditional lemon zest and parsley garnish
By Ed Baines
Ossobuco alla Milanese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 3 kg veal, shin pieces
  • seasoned flour, for dusting
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 110 g butter
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pepper
  • 2 chillies
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 10 tinned anchovies
  • 2 canned chopped tomatoes
  • 750 ml dry white wine
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • chopped parsley
  • wilted spinach, to serve

For the polenta

  • 250 g instant polenta
  • 500 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g parmesan, grated


1. For the ossobuco: preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2.

2. Dust the veal pieces in seasoned flour and fry in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep-sided pot or casserole until golden. Remove the meat and set aside in a roasting pan.

3. In the same pot, heat the remaining olive oil and the butter. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic and chilli and cook them until soft. Add the anchovies and tinned tomatoes, wine, parsley and thyme and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

4. Pour the sauce over the veal and add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven for 3 hours to braise, covering the roasting tin with foil after 2 hours. When almost ready to serve, prepare the polenta.

5. For the polenta: bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan, then reduce the heat to low. Add the polenta in a steady stream and stir until it starts to thicken. Slowly add the milk and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the butter and parmesan.

6. To serve, put a pile of polenta on each serving plate and top with the veal and sauce. Mix the lemon zest and chopped parsley together and sprinkle some over the top of each dish. Serve with wilted spinach.

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