Locanda del Lago

231 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Ossobuco alla Milanese (Veal Shanks with Saffron Risotto)

Yields: 4 servings


4 veal shanks (16 oz. each)
2 onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
1/2 C flour
2/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1 C dry white wine
16 oz vine ripened plum tomatoes or, out of season, canned Italian plum tomatoes
2 C veal broth
to taste salt and white pepper to taste


  • 1 large roasting pan with lid, 2 sauce pans, oven - preheated @ 350° F, 1 wooden spoon, 1 ladle

    Ingredients: Saffron Risotto

    1 C Arborio rice, “Riso Arborio Superfino” (8 oz.)
    1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
    1 T onion, finely chopped
    1/2 C dry white wine
    3 C chicken stock
    1/2 T saffron
    1 T butter
    2 T grated Parmesan cheese

    Method: ossobuco

  • Pre-heat a roasting pan over medium heat with 1/3 cup olive oil. Sweat the chopped onions, celery, and carrots (keeping 1 tbs. of chopped onion aside for the risotto) and the bay leaves until the onion and the celery are translucent.
  • Pre-heat a sauce pan over medium-high heat with 1/3 cup olive oil. Lightly coat the veal shanks in the flour. Sear for 4-5 minutes on each side, adding salt and pepper to both sides.
  • Place the veal shanks in the roasting pan, carefully arranging them on top of the brunoise of vegetables. Add 1 cup white wine and simmer until the wine evaporates, turning over half way through in order to flavor both sides with the wine and vegetables.
  • Finely chop the Italian plum tomatoes and add, along with the juice, to the roasting pan. Add the veal broth, bring to a boil, and season to taste. Cover and place in an oven pre-heated to 350° F. The cooking time is approximately three hours. Be sure to turn the veal shanks over every 20 minutes so they can absorb the flavors. Also, ensure that the shanks are at least half covered by liquid, adding veal broth if necessary. When finished, the meat should be very tender. If the sauce becomes thick, add additional veal broth to obtain proper consistency.

    Method: risotto

  • When the ossobuco has been cooking for 2 1/2 hours, start preparing the risotto. Bring the chicken stock and saffron up to a boil in a sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer.
  • Place a sauce pan over medium heat and add 1/3 cup olive oil. Sweat 1 tbs. of chopped onion until translucent and add the Arborio rice. Stir the rice with a wooden spoon for 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup of white wine and stir constantly until completely absorbed.
  • Turn the heat to low and pour one ladle of chicken-saffron broth into the rice pan while constantly stirring. As the liquid is absorbed by the rice, continue adding broth, ladle by ladle, and stir until the rice grain has at least doubled in volume. Test rice grain for softness and when ready (approximately 20-25 minutes), add butter and parmesan cheese, remove from heat and stir to creamy consistency. This last step is called “mantecare.”

    To finish

  • Place the saffron risotto on one side and the veal shank adjacent. Pour the sauce over the shank and serve steaming hot.

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