Beef Hole-Bone ☆

In classic Italian cuisine, Osso Buco (literally, “bone with a hole”) is a specialty of Lombardian cuisine, consisting of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth. It is traditionally served with either risotto alla milanese or polenta, and sometimes pasta, depending on the regional variation. The marrow in the hole in the bone, a prized delicacy, is the defining feature of the dish. It is often garnished with a chopped herb, lemon zest, and garlic condiment called gremolata.

The recipe given here has major variations from Italian Osso Buco, but does employ beef cuts having bones with a hole in them, and hence the recipe title above. Like its antecedent, it is a one-dish meal. Unlike its antecedant, it is not served with any starchy accompaniments (except for the potato, which I put in for my wife Camilla, who is not subject to my dietary mandates).

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large turnip, cubed
  • 1 rib celery, in fine dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 5 oz shelled edimame
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small red or white potato (for the wife)
  • 2 medium sized cross-cut beef shanks, with bones having holes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s Salt-Free 17 Seasoning*
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the onion, carrot, mushrooms, turnip, celery, garlic, and edimame.

Line an oven baking pan with aluminum foil and spray it with vegetable oil. Lay down the vegetable mixture. Place the bay leaves on top, and the beef shanks over these. Put the potato off to one side to bake separately.

Use the bowl just emptied to combine the wine, water, herbs, and black pepper. Then pour this mixture over the beef shanks and vegetables.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and crimp it around the perimeter as a light seal while baking. Bake in a 270°F oven for 4 hours. Remove from the oven, transfer onto two plates, and serve immediately.

Serves 2, with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.


Just in case you would like to garnish your serving Beef Hole-Bone, here’s the classic recipe for gremolata:

  • 1 cup packed Italian Parsley ( small stems ok)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • zest of one small lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp <salt>, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • pinch red pepper chile flakes (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until uniformly combined, but not smoothened into a paste.

Serve as a condiment, a garnish that may be spooned onto the plate.