Ossobuco with saffron risotto

Gennaro Contaldo's traditional Italian dish of braised veal shin sprinkled with gremolata (a herby topping) is served with a rich saffron risotto
By Gennaro Contaldo
Ossobuco with saffron risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 5
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the ossobuco

  • 5 shins of veal, cut into 5cm pieces
  • plain flour, for coating
  • 75 g butter
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g passata
  • 250 ml vegetable stock, plus more if necessary

For the risotto

  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 720 g arborio rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 3 litres hot vegetable stock
  • few strands saffron
  • freshly grated parmesan, to taste
  • lemon zest, to taste

For the gremolata

  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 handfuls chopped parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh anchovy fillets, finely chopped


1. For the ossobuco: dust the veal shins in the flour and season with salt and pepper. On a high heat, melt the butter in a casserole dish large enough to hold all the shins in one layer. Add the meat to the pan and fry until browned on all sides.

2. Pour the wine into the pan and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Remove the meat and set aside.

3. Tip the onions and carrots into the pan and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes, or until the remaining wine evaporates and the onions and carrots have softened, but not browned. Return the meat to the pan.

4. Add the passata and vegetable stock, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook for about an hour until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Check from time to time so that the meat doesn't dry out and add more stock (or water) if necessary. After about half an hour, carefully turn over the shins.

5. At the end of the cooking time, increase the heat and cook on high for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce.

6. For the risotto melt the butter and 6 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-based casserole over medium-low heat. Add the onion and fry for 5-7 minutes until soft.

7. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until heated through and well coated with the butter. Stir in the garlic.

8. Stirring continuously, pour in the white wine and cook for a few minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed by the rice. Add the vegetable stock, a ladleful at a time, and cook until each ladleful has been absorbed by the rice, stirring all the time.

9. Meanwhile, combine the saffron and 100ml of water in a small bowl and stir together until absorbed.

10. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the saffron water to the rice instead of a ladleful of stock. When the rice is tender and cooked through, remove from the heat and leave to rest for about 1 minute. Stir in the grated parmesan and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Stir in lemon zest, to taste. Keep warm.

11. For the gremolata: chop all the ingredients very finely.

12. When the veal shins are cooked, remove and place on a large serving dish. Add the gremolata to the sauce in the pan and mix together well. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve at once with the saffron risotto.

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