Joe’s Randall Lineback Ossobuco: Milan Style


Joe Henderson, owner of Chapel Hill Farm, says:

“This recipe adapts and combines two Ossobuco recipes from Giuliano Bugialli’s “Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking” and Marcella Hazan’s “The Classic Italian Cook Book”. The faults are all mine.
Ossobuco literally translates to “bone with a hole.” The marrow in the center of each piece is one of the world’s great delicacies. Once you have made this dish, you will make it many times again.
Each Randall Lineback shank is center cut into three 2 inch thick pieces. So, two shanks (6 pieces) will serve 6 people. Randall Lineback is perfectly suited to this Italian regional dish because it is so richly-flavored, without the heaviness of cloying fat.  This Milanese recipe produces an Ossobuco that needs no knife; it can be broken up with a fork. If you want more bones and marrow, try ordering extra Randall Lineback Marrow Bones (available through our online store).
Some people tie each piece with twine around the outside. I don’t. The skin surrounding each piece will hold it together during cooking. Remove the skin with a fork before serving. Some people argue that the hind shanks are best. Some insist that the fore shanks are best. As long as it’s gradually thawed in my refrigerator, I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two after cooking.
This is a dish in which to use quality ingredients and to let them speak for themselves – high quality Extra Virgin olive oil, a good red wine suitable for drinking, etc. This dish does nothing but get better overnight. So, you can prepare it a day ahead and heat it again for serving. Make sure that each person gets a bone with marrow. I also like to sprinkle the traditional lemon zest, garlic, and parsley Gremolada (see recipe below) on each portion. Ossobuco can be served over risotto, rice, or quinoa, or try it over mashed fingerling potatoes.”


1 Cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2/3 Cup carrot, finely chopped
2/3 Cup celery, finely chopped
1 Strip of lemon peel, finely chopped
1/3 Cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (to sauté vegetables)
1 ½ Cups Pomi brand (or other) chopped tomatoes with their juice
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons dried thyme

6 Pieces of Randall Lineback center-cut Ossobuco, (Italian plural = Ossobuchi) - MUST be properly thawed, see under INFO, at top of page
¼ Cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (for browning meat)
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 ½ Cups good red wine
1 ½ Cups (or more) unsalted veal or beef stock
2 Cloves pressed or finely chopped garlic
4 Sprigs of flat Italian parsley, stems removed, then chopped
2 Bay leaves (as fresh as possible)


NOTE: Ideally use a tightly-lidded, heavy, flameproof enamel casserole (think LeCreuset) that will fit the 6 pieces of ossobuco side-by-side lying flat-side down. If not, use 2 casseroles and add an extra tablespoon of butter to each.

1) Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the rack to the bottom 1/3 of the oven.
2) Finely chop onion, carrot, celery and lemon peel.
3) In a small bowl, mix the chopped tomatoes with the tomato paste.
4) Heat 1/3 cup oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
5) When the butter is melted, add the chopped ingredients and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Then add the tomato mixture.
6) Adjust salt and pepper to taste, add the dried thyme and simmer for about 20 minutes.
7) With the stovetop at medium heat, put ¼ cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons of butter into a heavy casserole (with a tightly-fitting lid).
8) Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a plate or in a plastic bag. Lightly flour the ossobuco pieces on both sides and immediately place each piece into the casserole. Sauté the ossibuchi until golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).
9) Add the wine to the casserole and let simmer on the stove top over medium heat for about 10 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
10) Add 1 ½ cups unsalted beef stock.
11) Add the pressed garlic to the sautéed vegetables in the saucepan and stir. Then pour the contents of the saucepan over the ossibuchi in the casserole, evenly distributing them and gently lifting each piece of ossobuco so that vegetables lie between the meat and the bottom of the casserole. The stock must cover the ossibuchi. If necessary, add additional stock to cover the meat.
12) Cover the casserole and bring it to a bubbling simmer on the stovetop.
13) Remove the casserole from the stovetop and place it in the 350° oven for 30 minutes.
14) Turn each piece of ossobuco over and check that the liquid covers them. If not, add water to cover. Return the casserole to the oven for another 30 minutes and check again. In my oven it takes another hour +. Continue to check Every 30 minutes or so for doneness and maintaining the liquid. Cooking times vary due to the type of casserole used, position in the oven, oven temperature accuracy, etc.
15) The ossibuchi are done when they are easily pierced with a fork. Some of the meat may have already fallen off the bones. Be sure to remove and dispose of the circlets of skin that held each shank piece together.
16) Judge the consistency of your fabulous sauce. The sauce should be dense and creamy, more like a stew than a soup.  If the sauce is thin and soup-like, remove the meat and set it aside. Place the uncovered casserole on top of the stove, and, over high heat, briskly boil the sauce while stirring until it thickens. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste, then return the meat to the casserole.

This dish does nothing but get better overnight. So, you can prepare it a day ahead and heat it again for serving.

To Serve

1) We sprinkle a little of the traditional Gremolada on top (see below) and set the casserole on hot pads at the table with a side of rice, risotto, mashed fingerling potatoes, or quinoa (any starch generally goes well with this dish!).
2) Alternatively, you can assemble the ossibuchi on a warm platter to serve, or individually plate them over the starch of your choice, and pour the sauce over them.

You have just created one of the great dishes of the world. Make sure each guest receives a bone as well as meat, and remember to provide a small fork or spoon for each guest to taste the marrow.


Gremolada Milanese

While it may seem like gilding the lily, the traditional Ossobuco Milanese is usually served with Gremolada. We love it and think you will too. It is simple to make and finishes the Ossobuco with a bright and fresh note of flavor.
   Mix together:
        2 tablespoon chopped parsley
        1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
        1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
You can sprinkle the ossobuco with Gremolada before serving, put it in a bowl on the table for people to serve themselves, or a combination of both. It's up to you!