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Spicy Osso Buco

Spicy Osso Buco

I am sure there are as many recipes for Italy’s Osso Buco as there are for burgers, however this spiced version is one that we enjoy. I like to accompany it with a saffron risotto, but a more kiwi traditional is mashed potatoes which is also delicious.


  • 1 tsp each salt and white pepper and dried oregano
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3-4 juniper berries, finely chopped
  • good pinch cloves
  • 1 kg veal knuckles
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 50 grams butter
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tblsp chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, finely sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock


  1. Mix together the salt, pepper, oregano, nutmeg, juniper berries and cloves and rub this mixture into the veal knuckles. Cover and leave to stand for 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  2. Toss the spiced knuckles in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large heavy-based flame proof casserole and when hot brown the knuckles lightly on all sides. Set aside. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to be fragrant. Scatter over the parsley.
  3. Sit the knuckles back on top of the onion mixture and place a slice of lemon on top of each piece of knuckle. Pour in the wine and chicken stock, cover and bring to a simmer.
  4. Transfer to a 140°C oven for 1½ hours, or until the meat is cooked and the sauce sticky. Serve the knuckles with a garnish of grated lemon rind and chopped parsley and a little of the juice. Accompany with risotto and steamed greens of the season.

Cooks Tips

For a more tomato-style sauce, add in one can chopped tomatoes when cooking in the oven and finish with chopped anchovies to taste. Veal knuckles can be hard to find, but most butchers will have them or can get them. If using beef knuckles, note that they are larger, stonger in flavour and must be cooked an extra 45-60 minutes to ensure tenderness.

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