Pork Osso Bucco is a full of flavour and texture recipe that the whole family will love! Hearty, packed with vegetables and meat cooked till it falls off the bone, this Italian recipe goes down a treat. Pork shank osso bucco is tender, juicy and so delicious you will want to slurp up every drop!
This pork version of a traditional osso bucco strays slightly from its origins in using an alternative protein. However, like the beef and lamb versions listed above they offer delicious variations of a classic Italian dish.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Back to basics: this is the type of cooking that your Mum would have done growing up. Basic meat and veggie combo without a lot of spice or fan fare. A pretty straight forward and easy pork osso bucco recipe with no bells and whistles. But, my friend there is a whole lot of yum in every mouthful 🥰!
- Family favourite: this is a hearty dish that everyone from little ones to adults will love. There is a lot of flavour but no spice or heat and as such it is rich and delicious.
- Perfect for winter: in the cooler months you want food that warms you from the belly out. The bone marrow makes this the perfect recipe to do that as it is wholesome, nourishing and comforting.
- Freezer friendly: this meat and veggie dish is perfect to whip up a big batch of, let cool then portion into containers for later use. It freezes and reheats exceptionally well.
- Looks tricky, is easy: if you have held off making osso bucco because it seems difficult, I am here to encourage you that it is actually pretty simple. You will feel like an Italian chef when you have mastered it 👍😉.
- Tastes even better the next day: as much as the dish gets cooked for a period of between 1 hour and 30 minutes and flavour is imparted during that time, it is often the case the next day bowl of leftovers tastes even better than the 1st day! No soggy or wilting vegetables here, rather thick, chunky and robust pickings that are suited to long cook times.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Pork: you will likely need to go to your local butcher to purchase this. These days most supermarkets don't sell meat cut like this. It is the pork shank cut crossways with bone and meat in each pieces. You can get skin on or off, but it won't render the way it would if we were frying it off.
- Carrots: 2 medium sized or 1 large carrot peeled and cut into small pieces. This is one of the 3 key traditional vegetables for osso bucco.
- Celery: celery stalks with leaves trimmed, rinsed and chopped into small pieces, the second of our key vegetables for the dish.
- White onion: 1 medium onion peeled and finely diced or you can use a food processor or other vegetable chopper to help with this if you want to save your tears.
- White wine: I use pinot gris and recommend you stick with a dry white wine or sweet white not red wine for the recipe (red is better for beef osso bucco).
- Chicken stock (chicken broth): you can also use vegetable stock if you wish too.
- Diced tomatoes: try and get the ones that don't have any additional herbs and are simply plain tomatoes (we add our own flavour).
- Fennel: an excellent accompaniment to pork recipes. We use dried fennel and only need a small amount to taste the flavour in the osso bucco.
- Bay leaf: we use 2 dried bay leaves. These get added to the top of the dish and provide an aromatic flavour. They need to be discarded before serving.
- Salt and black pepper: we season both sides of the pork with these before browning.
- Olive oil: added to the pan so that we can sear the pork in hot oil.
- Parsley: finely chopped for the gremolata.
- Lemon zest: from a fresh lemon, this is an excellent garnish ingredient for the dish.
- Garlic: combined with the fresh parsley and grated lemon zest for the gremolata. You can use fresh garlic cloves and finely dice them or chunky minced garlic.
Tasty Tip: I like to offer a number of substitutions and variations to give you options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section before diving into the instructions on how to make the recipe below 👍😉.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by seasoning both sides of the pork with salt and pepper then browning it using the olive oil in a large sauté pan.
- Season pork with salt and pepper (Photo 1)
- Brown both sides (Photo 2)
- Fry carrot, celery and onion (Photo 3)
- Add garlic, fennel and tomato paste (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Pork Osso Bucco
Use kitchen tongs to lay the pork pieces flat on a chopping board and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Then add the olive oil to a large sauté pan (or large Dutch oven), turn the heat to high and use the tongs to transfer the pork in one flat layer. Brown each side of the pork, flipping from the 1st side to the other after around 2-3 minutes. It will take 5-7 minutes to do both sides. Then remove the browned pork from the pan and place on a paper towel lined chopping board.
Without rinsing or cleaning the pan, add the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Fry these off for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring as you go.
Next add the garlic, fennel and tomato paste to the vegetables.
Pour in the 2 tins of diced tomatoes and then sprinkle the crushed bouillon cubes over the top.
- Add diced tomatoes (Photo 5)
- Sprinkle crushed beef bouillon cubes over the tomatoes (Photo 6)
- Add brown beef pan to pan (Photo 7)
- Pour in the chicken stock (Photo 8)
Once you have added the diced tomatoes and crushed stock cubes to the dish you can use the tongs to transfer the seared pork back into the pan. Try and place the pieces in one flat layer 👌.
Next pour in the chicken stock, followed by the wine.
- Pour in the white wine (Photo 9)
- Then add the bay leaves and place the lid on (Photo 10)
- Gather the gremolata ingredients (Photo 11)
- Stir to combine (Photo 12)
Once all of the liquids are in the dish, place the bay leaves in the centre of the pan and place the lid on. Open the oven door and place the dish on the middle shelf.
You can use this time to make the gremolata. It is a simple as combining freshly chopped parsley, zested lemon rind and garlic. Use a spoon to stir these to combine and set aside.
The total cook time in the oven is 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can use oven mits to remove it every 30 minutes and use kitchen tongs to rotate the pork, ensuring that it is almost entirely covered by the liquids.
- Oven bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes (Photo 13)
Once the cook time is up, you can again remove the pan from the oven, place it on a heatproof surface and remove the lid.
It is a good idea to let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes before beginning to portion and serve.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
When it comes to serving the dish you can go to the trouble of making an Italian risotto or keep it simple and make some polenta (as shown in the photos throughout the post).
The gremolata helps to bring a zesty freshness to the recipe and lifts the taste with bright notes and flavours. Although optional, it is very worth a try if you are open to making it.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers in sealed, airtight containers or plates with cling wrap. They will last for 3 days and they can be frozen also.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Then portion into containers and seal with a lid. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months and are best thawed prior to reheating. ie not reheating from frozen.
How to Reheat
The microwave is the quickest and easiest way to reheat leftovers. Simply cover and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until the dish is heated through. You can also add leftovers back to a pan on the stove, if doing this a couple of drops of olive oil will help to ensure they don't stick and the clean up is less time consuming!!
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can make this dish with an alternative protein such as veal, lamb or beef.
- You can switch out the fennel and in with the equivalent amount of dried oregano.
- If you wish to, you can use fresh fennel in place of the dried fennel and simply finely chop and add it with the carrots, celery and onion. Or omit one of these vegetables and use the fennel in their place.
- If you don't want to make the gremolata, you can simply use finely chopped parsley as a garnish for the dish.
- You have the option of using zested orange rind in place of the lemon rind for the gremolata.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Kitchen tongs are handing as you can move the meat around easily as you transfer it from one place to the next and back.
- There is no need to rinse the pan after searing the pork. Simply add the vegetables and allow them to fry off.
- The bouillon cubes will crush very easily. So ensure that you are holding them over the dish when you crush them.
- When opening the oven to rotate the pork every 30 mins allow the waft of heat out before sticking your face too close 😉.
- The volume of ingredients and liquids is quite high in the dish so a large sauté pan or Dutch oven is best to hold it all in there.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is pork osso bucco made from?
Pork osso bucco uses the forearm of the animal and is cut cross way so that each piece contains both bone and meat.
Are pork shanks expensive?
Pork shanks are a reasonably priced cut of meat and much cheaper than beef or lamb meat of the same.
What is osso bucco in English?
Osso bucco translates to bone with a hole which references the bone with marrow that is scooped out as part of the consumption of the dish.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Din dins, we have to have it every day of the week and need lots of ideas to keep it interesting and not get bored. Here are some more recipes I hope that you love:
- Easy Pork Bolognese
- Greek Lamb Shanks
- Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- Honey Soy Pork Ribs
- Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs
- Fettuccine Al Pesto
- Baked Meatball Subs
- Spaghetti Gorgonzola
- BBQ Lamb Ribs
- Gnocchi Gorgonzola
There is a whole lot of yum coming at you with this dish and it is time to get some pork on our fork my friend!
Pork Osso Bucco
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Large sauté pan or Dutch oven with lid
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Paper towel
- 1 Large sauce pan to cook the polenta (optional)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1.5kg/3 pounds pork shanks cut crossways, skin on or off
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup celery rinsed and finely chopped
- 1 cup onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tbs garlic chunky minced
- 1 teaspoon dried fennel
- 800 grams/28 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 cubes beef bouillon crushed in your fingers and sprinkled over the diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 2-3 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ tablespoon garlic chunky minced
- polenta cook according to packet instructions
- Preheat the oven: preheat the oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Season: use kitchen tongs to place pork onto chopping board in one flat layer. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Brown: add olive oil to pan, turn heat to high, place pork into the pan and sear for at least 3 minutes each side to brown the meat. Once browned, remove and transfer to a chopping board with layer of paper towel.
- Vegetables: without rinsing the pan, add carrot, celery and onion, fry for 2 to 3 mins on high heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir throughout this time. Then add the tomato paste, garlic and fennel, stir to combine and allow to cook for a further 2 to 3 mins.
- Sauce: add the diced tomatoes to the pan. Crush the bouillon cubes with your fingers and sprinkle over the combined tomato vegetable mixture. Turn the heat to low and allow the dish to simmer.
- Pork: use kitchen tongs to place the seared pork back into the pan on top of the tomato vegetable mixture.
- Stock and wine: pour in the chicken stock, followed by the wine. Place the bay leaves in the middle of the dish.
- Oven bake: place a lid on the pan and transfer to the middle shelf in the oven. Cook for 1 hour 30 mins. You can remove during this time at 30 minute internals, place on a heatproof surface and use tongs to rotate the pork to the other side.
- Gremolata: add the chopped parsley, minced garlic and lemon zest to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Polenta: cook the polenta according to the packet instructions, add 2 teaspoons of butter and stir to combine.
- Serve: portion the polenta onto plates. Place the pork osso bucco onto a heatproof surface in the centre of the table and provide serving utensils.
- Garnish: place the gremolata in a small bowl on the table for garnish, alternatively provide finely chopped parsley and cracked black pepper for serving. Enjoy!
- Note 1 - Pork: you will likely need to get this from your local butcher and request that they cut this for you. Also, you can reduce this to 1kg/2 pounds for my American friends, yet keep the rest of the dish the same. (It will cut down the cost slightly and works if you are feeding less people).
- Note 2 - Carrots: this is 2 x medium to large sized carrots, measured it is 2 cups.
- Note 3 - Celery: this is about 4 stalks or half stalks once you cut the leafy tops and wider white bit off the end.
- Note 4 - Onion: this is 1 medium sized onion peeled and chopped.
- Note 5 - Diced tomatoes: go for the plain tins of these ie the ones that don't have additional herbs or spices. You can use crushed tomatoes, however, they will have less texture.