Osso Buco Alla Milanese & Risotto Alla Milanese Saffron Risotto

Braising is to winter what barbecuing is to summer. When temperature drops, we start to crave food which is slow cooked and full of flavour.

Chef Salvatore Pepe says winter warmers don’t get any better than the classic Italian comfort-food dish, osso buco. Osso buco means “bone with a hole” and
is traditionally made with veal or beef shanks.

The best-known version of this dish is from Milan where it is usually served with saffron risotto and gremolata which is a mixture of finely-grated lemon peel, parsley and garlic. Salvatore shares his tried-and-true recipe for ossobuco with all the ingredients available at Frewville and Pasadena Foodland.


(Serves 4)


• 4 beef osso buco shanks 30ml thick each
• 2 celery sticks
• 2 carrots
• 2 brown onions
• 300g peeled tomatoes
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 glasses white wine
• A little plain or corn flour
• Olive oil
• Salt

For the gremolata
• 2 cloves garlic
• ½ bunch Italian parsley
• ½ lemon rind
• Finely chop all together and sprinkle over the osso bucco just before serving


  1. Chop the carrots, celery and onions in to small cubes and fry with a little oil, stirring for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until softened. Place in a large oven tray.
  2. Dust the osso bucco with flour and fry each piece in oil on low heat for a minute each side. Place in the tray with the vegetables. Add the tomato, wine and bay leaves, season with salt and cover the tray tightly with baking paper and alfoil.
  3. Place in pre-heated oven at 170c for 2.5 hours. Serve with the risotto (recipe below)

Risotto Alla Milanese Saffron Risotto RECIPE

(Serves 4)


• 120g butter
• 2 litres vegetable stock (hot)
• 400g Carnaroli rice
• 60g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
• Brown onion, finely chopped
• 1g saffron threads
• salt to taste


Vegetable stock
In a small pot, combine one celery stick, one carrot, ½ brown onion and some parsley stalks with 2 lires of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins.

Soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of cold water. Place onion with half of the butter in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over moderate heat. When slightly browned, add rice and stir over low heat until translucent. Add stock one ladle at a time and continue stirring, gradually adding more stock as it is absorbed by the rice.

When rice is ready (approx. 18 mins), remove from the stove, add the saffron, cheese and remaining butter, stir well, add more stock if needed to achieve a loose, creamy consistency (risotto should run to one side if you tip the plate on an angle) and serve immediately.

By David Ridge
2016 Coriole Barbera (McLaren Vale)

It wouldn’t be telling you anything new, that Osso Bucco is a pretty rich dish, right? So a pretty big rich wine is the natural match, yes? Well … not necessarily a rich, rich wine.

No, instead try this north Italian red variety, grown here by early devotees of the Italians, Coriole.

Barbera is a semi-rich red with lovely, dark plummy fruits, but also a nice zingy, “up” and savoury palate that will handle – indeed complement – that richness. It also provides some cut through the oiliness of the dish. The grape is important in the northeast of Italy, and would be the frequent accompaniment for exactly this dish in those parts. Exactly what the dottore ordered.


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