Braised veal osso bucco with peas and polenta

This slow-cooked braise is a winter winner, with the veal falling off the bone and served on a bed of creamy polenta.


  • 1.2 kg osso bucco
  • 1tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • Sea salt
  • 120g (1cup) green olives
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 250ml (1 cup) white wine
  • 400g tinned tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 750ml (3 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 bay leaves, fresh if available
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 150g of peas
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon

  • 250g (3 cups) good quality ‘real’ polenta
  • Sea salt
  • 100g (heaped 1/3 cup) unsalted butter, chopped
  • 150g (1½ cups) finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground pepper


Toss the veal shanks in the seasoned flour. Heat some oil in a large, heavy-based pan and cook the shanks until browned all over, then remove from the pan.

Heat more oil in the pan if necessary and add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and a pinch of sea salt and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.

Stir in the olives, lemon and orange zests, wine, tomato, stock, bay leaves, thyme and browned shanks.

Simmer very slowly, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for a further 45 minutes, or until the meat is falling off the bone.


Bring 1.25–1.5 litres (5–6 cups) water to the boil in a saucepan. Add some sea salt and pour in the polenta, whisking constantly, until it is completely incorporated.

Reduce the heat and cook for about 40 minutes at a gentle simmer, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the butter and Parmesan, check for saltiness and give a good grind of pepper.


To serve

Add peas to the osso bucco and cook for five minutes, or until the peas are tender.

Check the seasoning and add more sea salt if necessary.

Place a spoonful of polenta on the side of four large bowls, spoon the shank mixture on and give a good grind of pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

NOTES: This recipe can be made in a slow cooker and be put on before work and ready for when you get home. You don’t have to use fresh peas, frozen will be fine or you could substitute with green beans or any other green veg you love.