The easiest way to make super tender, fall apart beefy bone marrow-y osso buco ever.

How often do you make it past the pasta part of the menu at a good Italian restaurant? We usually never do. But if I see osso buco on the menu, I make room to order it. How can you not love a slow braised, melt in your mouth beef shank in a beefy, bone marrow-y tomato sauce? Sometimes you even get a little spoon for the bone marrow. If its on the menu, you can bet it’s usually the best thing on the menu. Osso buco is even often served with pasta, so win-win!

But better yet, you can make it at home in an hour on the instant pot for 1/4 of the cost. It tastes like you slaved in the kitchen for hours. It’s perfect for special occasions but easy enough that you could have it on any given weeknight too.

osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

What is osso buco?

Osso buco is an Italian dish of veal shank braised for a really long time in a white wine bone marrow infused sauce originally from Lombard. The long braise time melts away the connective tissues in the shank and leaves you with melt-in-your-mouth fall apart meat. It tastes amazing because the shank cut is a complex muscle full of connective tissue that just falls apart. Because it’s slow braised on the bone (Osso Buco means bone with a hole), the bone marrow infuses the sauce and gives it an incredible richness and flavor.

Historically, this recipe doesn’t include tomatoes because they’re a new world crop, but these days, pretty much everyone makes it with tomatoes. This version we’re making today takes it up another notch with fresher tasting passata tomato sauce instead of the classic canned tomatoes.

osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make osso buco

  1. Brown your beef shanks well on both sides. I use the Instant Pot saute setting on high for 2-3 minutes on each side with a splatter shield on top, and honestly it works better than doing it on the stovetop. The high sides of the instant pot mean much less splatter and mess.
  2. Cook your aromatics. Transfer the beef shank to a plate or something else to catch the juices, then add the aromatics and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Deglaze with wine. Add the wine and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the instant pot with a wooden spoon or spatula. Let the wine cook until it is reduced by half, at least 2 minutes.
  4. Braise. Add the beef shank, passata, and herbs to the instant pot and braise on high for 1 hour. You’ll be rewarded with the most tender, fall-apart meat ever.

instant pot osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

Instant pot osso buco

Osso buco is classically a braise-it-all-day affair, but, if there’s one thing the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) excels at, it’s crushing braise times for these kinds of dishes. It’s by far the best option, in my opinion. If you don’t have one, you can make this by  simmering until soft on the stove – it’ll just take longer, about 4-6 hours. You can also brown the meat and aromatics in an oven proof pan or dutch oven, then transferring to a 250-300ºF oven for 4-6 hours. If you go either stovetop or oven, check back every so often to make sure your liquid isn’t too low.

instant pot osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

Crock pot osso buco (or stovetop too)

But, what if you don’t have an instant pot handy? The next best thing in that case is a crock pot. The crockpot can’t get hot enough to brown the the meat, so you’ll still need to do a little cooking on the stovetop, but it’s just as easy:

  1. Brown your meats in a large skillet over high heat. Transfer to crock pot and set it to high.
  2. Cook the vegetables into the same skillet until soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add wine and reduce, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add passata. Once it’s warmed, transfer everything to the crock pot and slow cook for 5-6 hours.
  5. Reduce the heat to low after about 2 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

If you don’t have a crock pot, you can simmer in the skillet – just add the shanks back in, partially cover, and set it to your lowest heat. Check back every hour and add water or passata as needed.

osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

The dinner and chill special

Traditionally there a lot more ingredients and steps to this dish, but here I’ve pared it down to the bare minimum and let the flavors speak for themselves. Before writing this recipe, Steph and I went to a really well regarded Italian restaurant. We tried their 24 hour osso buco made with veal shank and extra marrow bones. It was amazing, but this one compares favorably – and is way easier.

The biggest step I removed is the flour dredge. Usually people dredge the shank in flour and use that to both brown the meat and thicken the sauce. I don’t think this needs it, the bone marrow thickened sauce is more than enough, and flour is always messy. If you want to do that though, it will add a little extra body to both your meat and sauce.

osso buco recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Veal vs beef shank

The default meat choice for osso buco is veal, but I’ve found it’s pretty hard to find veal shank. It’s worth looking for if you want to stay true to the original. You should be able to find it at your neighborhood butcher shop or major supermarket. Beef tastes as good (if not better) though and is far easier to find. It’s even often cheaper, even though veal should technically be a lower-cost meat.

beef shank | www.iamafoodblog.com

Osso buco ingredients

  • Shank is an inexpensive cut that should be easy to find. If you can’t get it at your local grocery store, whole foods will carry beef (but not veal) shanks.
  • Herbs to 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 on hand, feel free to throw a little in. If not, just skip – the recipe doesn’t need it.
  • Passata is an uncooked strained tomato puree. I chose passata because the fresh tomato flavor really brightens up the dish, but if you have a can of regular old crushed tomatoes around, feel free to use that.
  • White wine. Wine adds a complexity and authenticity to the dish that is impossible to replace. If you need to be alcohol-free, you can switch it out for sodium free chicken stock.

How do you serve it?

Osso Buco is typically served with risotto, gnocchi, or pasta, but we like ours with bread or on its own. If you plan on eating this on its own, you might want to double the recipe to get enough meat for 2.

If you wanted to go really over the top (say for an at home Valentines dinner) a tiny bit of caviar makes this one of the most extra surf and turfs you could make at home.

osso buco with caviar | www.iamafoodblog.com

-Mike

osso buco recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Ever Instant Pot Osso Buco Recipe

Osso Buco doesn’t get any easier than 6 ingredients and 1 hour of cook time. 
Serves 2
4.65 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 medium onion chopped
  • 1 small carrot chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 slice veal or beef shank about 1 pound
  • 1 cup white wine Pinot grigio/Italian white preferred
  • 1/2 cup passata or crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh herbs I just used 1 sprig of oregano

Special Equipment

Instructions

  • Roughly chop your onion, carrots, and garlic.
    chopping aromatics | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Preheat your Instant Pot to saute high and add 1-2 tablespoons oil. Pat dry your shanks and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
    beef shank | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Once your instant pot is hot enough (for me, that's about 2 mins past when it beeps) Brown your shanks 1-2 minutes per side.
    browning beef shank | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Remove the shank and add your onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until soft – 2-4 minutes.
    aromatics in Instant Pot | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Add the wine and deglaze, scraping the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce until about half the wine is left – 2-3 minutes.
    deglazing | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Add passata, herbs if using, and the shanks to the pot. Set pressure to high and braise for 1 hour. Quick release when done and serve, garnish with grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, red pepper flakes, and flat leaf parsley as desired.
    instant pot osso buco | www.iamafoodblog.com

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
The Easiest Ever Instant Pot Osso Buco Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 545 Calories from Fat 128
% Daily Value*
Fat 14.2g22%
Saturated Fat 5.3g33%
Cholesterol 203mg68%
Sodium 175mg8%
Potassium 1142mg33%
Carbohydrates 8.9g3%
Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugar 3.3g4%
Protein 69.7g139%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Welcome to Dinner & Chill: delicious recipes with easy to find ingredients, low prep, and low effort.

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30 Comments

  1. fred says:

    I love this.

  2. natalie says:

    This recipe looks absolutely amazing!! Can’t wait to make this. I did have one question – the ingredient list has 1/2 cup passata listed, but the recipe directions say 1 cup. Which is the correct amount?

    Thank you!! Can’t wait to make this.

    1. Mike says:

      Oops, thanks for the catch, it’s 1/2 cup passata, fixed now!

  3. Kelvin gregory says:

    I am going to do 4 shanks . Would I need to increase the cook time

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kelvin,
      it should be fine, you won’t need to.

  4. Tweeswee says:

    Making this right now! COVID-19 got me like… gimme some Osso Buco! I added a few things like green pepper corns, and some flageolet beans – will report back if all works out well! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration

  5. Linda says:

    I am eating this as we speak! I subbed carrots with celery, added an extra onion to use it up, used red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) instead of white wine, and used a mixture of water/pasta sauce to make a passata. I usually keep passata on hand but had none and wasn’t going to head back to the store for it! As I am eating it, I am taken back to an incredible meal at a relatively high end Italian restaurant where I ordered gnocchi and osso buco for quite the price. What I have created here thanks to your excellent recipe is 1000x better than that meal, and definitely cost under $10, and that’s a high point! I will definitely be creating this again and it will for sure make the list of great date night recipes. Now I will have to investigate your blog to find more delicious foods! Thank you!!!

  6. Alan says:

    This recipe looks fantastic and I’m trying it tonight. My only question is about the cooking time. As a rule, before I do a RECIPES I print out a number of variations from other sites. Generally, the cooking time on the other recipes seems to be around 40 minutes. This one has 60 minutes. I guess I am concerned about over cooking and having a mash when I take the lid off.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi alan,
      it falls off the bone at 60 minutes, not mushy at all :)

  7. Ana says:

    Making Osso bucco for the first time today and fell upon this recipe. It was delicious!!! I added extra passata and served it with pasta. I also used red wine. The meat was so tender!! Thank you!!!

  8. William G Carr says:

    Gathering the ingredients and concerned if there’s enough liquid. Thinking about adding some beef stock. Has anyone tried that?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi william,
      you can definitely add a bit of beef stock.

    2. Adriana says:

      Not to worry, you will have plenty of liquid! :)

  9. Donna L Kotsay says:

    5 stars
    I made this with veal shanks as per your instructions and it was delicious. Have saved it to my phone. Will definitely use again.

  10. Michael R Morawey says:

    I am concerned about putting the can of crushed tomatoes in the bottom of the IP. Will this not bring up the burn signal when it starts cooking the osso buco?

    1. Mike says:

      Hi Michael, it shouldn’t burn as the crushed tomatoes are very high in liquid, and the meat will release more liquid as well.

  11. Marcus says:

    4 stars
    35 minutes was plenty of time!

  12. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    I made this last night with 4 beef shanks and it was delicious! I used red wine and some beef broth. Note to self: don’t multiply the liquid next time. I had to thicken the broth. The remaining broth will be the base for a wonderful beef vegetable soup to go in the deep freeze.

  13. Brenda says:

    Has anyone made this using moose shanks?

  14. Adriana says:

    5 stars
    This recipe yields a delicious meal! Osso Buco is a family favorite that used to take hours to prepare. Make your Nonna proud with this!! This preparation tastes wonderful…rich and deep with flavor, tender and adaptable. I increased the number of servings using3 large veal shanks and increased the other ingredients accordingly.
    DELICIOUS!!! BUON APPETITO!!

  15. Libby says:

    5 stars
    Was so delicious we will make again

  16. Danielle says:

    Can I use frozen pork shanks and if so, what would the cooking time be?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi danielle,
      yes, but skip the browning step. i would add an extra 10 minutes for frozen :)

  17. Woody Davenport says:

    Want to make this but I have turkey shanks, will I need to cook for less time please.

    Woody

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi woody,
      i would go for 30 minutes :)

  18. Jane Beastall says:

    5 stars
    Just made it.
    Yum.

  19. Leo says:

    5 stars
    first time making Osso Buco at home, and was intimidated until i stumbled on this recipe. Easiest recipe ever and it came out amazing! Surprised how flavorful it came out with so little ingredients. Will be making this often! Thanks!!

  20. Monica says:

    Thank you for amazing recipes like this one! Made it over the weekend and it was delicious! I’m always excited to check this spot and see what simple yet delicious recipes you guys have shared.

  21. Danielle says:

    I am making this tonight. We have 2 beef shanks each a little over 1 lb. would you double all the ingredients including the wine and crushed tomato?

    1. Mike says:

      I would – there’s no harm in having more liquid. Ideally the cooking liquid just about covers the top of the shanks, so you can base it on if you need to stack the shanks or not and how big your instant pot is.

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