Slow cooker osso bucco

Osso bucco

Osso bucco is one of the many things I’ve been meaning to make for ages, and I finally got round to making it after buying some veal shanks (labelled as osso bucco) in the yellow sticker reduced section of Sainsbury’s before Christmas. I stashed them in the freezer (as I do with most of my yellow sticker purchases) and thought I’d cook them this week as part of my quest to empty the freezer.*

I used the ‘Bruno’s osso bucco’ recipe from the Leon Naturally Fast Food book as a guide, but essentially made it in the same way I would instinctively make a casserole. You could dust the meat with flour before browning it, but I added flour later instead (as I normally do). I also forgot to add a stock cube, but it was fine without – and I probably wouldn’t bother next time.

Osso bucco is traditionally served with saffron risotto and gremolata. However, I decided to keep it truly one-pot by chucking in some pearl barley. Not authentic, but tasty nonetheless. I did have the ingredients for gremolata, but completely forgot to make it. Never mind!

*Our usual plan is to use up enough of our frozen food so that when it snows (which it inevitably does), we can put any remaining food in a cool box on the balcony and defrost the freezer. This worked last year, but we’re forecast snow this weekend and we’re nowhere near eating everything in the freezer…


  • 2 rose veal shanks (sometimes sold as osso bucco) or 2 slices of beef shin
  • Olive oil
  • An onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, washed and finely chopped
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • A tablespoonful of flour
  • A generous glug of white wine
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes
  • A large carrot, scrubbed or peeled and cut into small chunks
  • A teaspoonful of dried sage
  • A teaspoonful of dried oregano
  • A sprinkling of pearl barley (equivalent to a couple of tablespoons full)

Osso bucco

Heat up a deep, wide pan and brown the meat on both sides. Remove and set aside. Add a small amount of oil to the pan and fry the onions and celery, adding the sea salt to draw out the moisture and stop them catching. Once the onions start to turn translucent, add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add the flour and stir in until it’s coated with oil. Turn up the heat and add the wine, stirring everything together.

Turn off the heat and add the chopped tomatoes (I whizzed them first in a food processor because that’s what I do) along with the carrot, herbs and pearl barley.

Put the contents of the pan into a slow cooker and add the meat, making sure it’s submerged. Cook on low for at least 6 hours. The meat should fall away from the bone during cooking so you can easily discard the bones before serving.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, I’d suggest putting this in a low-ish oven for a couple of hours, so that the meat becomes tender and the bone marrow leaches out into the sauce.

Serves 2.

Osso bucco


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