How to Make Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker


 How to Make Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker: A Delicious and Effortless Recipe

If you’re a fan of hearty and tender Italian dishes, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating a mouthwatering Osso Buco using a slow cooker. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this recipe is designed to deliver a burst of flavors with minimal effort. So, let’s dive into the world of aromatic herbs, rich broth, and fall-off-the-bone meat – all conveniently cooked in a slow cooker.

Osso Buco
Osso Buco

Osso buco, a classic Italian dish made from braised veal shanks, is a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for chilly nights. Cooking osso buco in a slow cooker is an easy and hands-off way to achieve tender, flavorful meat that falls off the bone. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make osso buco in a slow cooker.

Cooking Made Easy with Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker

Understanding Osso Buco: A Culinary Delight

Before we delve into the cooking process, let’s take a moment to appreciate the dish itself. Osso Buco is a traditional Italian recipe that translates to “bone with a hole,” referencing the marrow-filled cross-cut of veal or beef shanks used in the dish. This dish hails from the Lombardy region of Italy and is celebrated for its tender meat, flavorful broth, and aromatic gremolata – a zesty condiment sprinkled on top. Now, let’s move on to crafting this delectable dish using a slow cooker.

How to Make Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker

Ingredients You’ll Need

Gather the following ingredients to embark on your Osso Buco journey:

  • 4 veal or beef shanks, each about 2 inches thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For the Gremolata:
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker
Osso Buco in a Slow Cooker

Step-by-Step Guide to Osso Buco Perfection

Let’s get cooking:

  1. Season and Dredge: Start by seasoning the veal or beef shanks with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Sear the Meat: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shanks and sear them until they develop a golden-brown crust. This step not only adds flavor but also helps seal in the juices.
  3. Prepare the Slow Cooker: Place the seared shanks in the slow cooker, arranging them in a single layer.
  4. Sauté the Aromatics: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion, diced carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and the onion turns translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Combine and Pour: Transfer the sautéed vegetables over the shanks in the slow cooker. Pour in the diced tomatoes, along with their juices, beef or chicken broth, and dry white wine. Add the dried thyme and bay leaves for a burst of flavor.
  6. Cook to Perfection: Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. This slow and gentle cooking process will transform the tough meat into tender, succulent perfection.
  7. Prepare the Gremolata: While the Osso Buco cooks, prepare the gremolata by combining lemon zest, minced garlic, and chopped parsley. This vibrant condiment will add a refreshing and zesty contrast to the rich flavors of the dish.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Once the cooking time is complete, carefully remove the shanks from the slow cooker and place them on serving plates. Ladle the aromatic sauce over the meat and finish by sprinkling the gremolata on top.

Serving Size

This Osso Buco recipe yields approximately 4 servings, making it a perfect choice for a family dinner or a cozy gathering with friends.

Osso Buco at Home
Osso Buco at Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use different types of meat for Osso Buco?

A: While traditionally made with veal, you can certainly use beef shanks or even pork shanks to create a variation of this dish.

Q2: Is a slow cooker essential for making Osso Buco?

A: While a slow cooker offers convenience, you can also prepare Osso Buco in a Dutch oven or on the stovetop with low heat. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

Q3: What can I serve with Osso Buco?

A: Osso Buco pairs wonderfully with risotto Milanese, polenta, or creamy mashed potatoes. The flavorful sauce complements these side dishes beautifully.


That’s it! Making osso buco in a slow cooker is a simple and easy way to enjoy this classic Italian dish in the comfort of your own home. The slow cooking process results in tender, flavorful meat that’s infused with the delicious tomato-based sauce. Whether you’re serving it for a special occasion or just a weeknight dinner, this dish is sure to impress. Crafting Osso Buco in a slow cooker is not just about cooking; it’s about creating an experience. The tender meat, the savory sauce, and the aromatic gremolata all come together to bring a piece of Italy to your table. Embrace the blend of tradition and innovation, and let the irresistible aroma of Osso Buco fill your kitchen.


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