My Ossobuco with Creamy Polenta

by | Food

love comfort food.  There is something about a hearty slow-cooked meal that just soothes me right to my soul.  Hearty does not necessarily have to be unhealthy so I’ve adapted these recipes to suit my preferences.  Both of these recipes are super easy and especially good on a busy day.  Simply prepare the ossobuco and let your slow cooker do the work through the day, then cook the polenta  just before you are ready to eat.

I have several recipes for Ossobuco that I do but I like the flavour of the added orange for this one.  I also like to do a risotto instead of polenta so keep that in mind, too.  For these recipes, I was inspired by Lidia Bastianich‘s Ossobuco and Ina Garten‘s Creamy Polenta.



1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh thyme

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

1 lemon

1 orange

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of chopped sweet onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup of diced carrot

1 cup of diced celery

Salt and pepper 

2 whole beef or veal shanks, bone with marrow.  Secured with twine around whole piece.

Flour for dredging shanks (I use Gluten Free)

1 cup of white wine

1 1/2 cups of crushed/pureed canned tomato

2 cups of chicken stock 

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Take the rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and place them into a bit of cheesecloth and then secure with twine.  This is your “Bouquet Garni”.
  2. Take the orange and with a vegetable peeler, remove the zest (the orange part without white) in strips.  Squeeze the juice and set it aside.
  3. Take the beef or veal shanks pat them dry with paper towel, then season them with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour.  Shake off any excess.
  4. In a large dutch oven, heat the oil then brown the shanks (approx. 3 mins. per side).  Remove them and then set aside.
  5. Using the same pot, add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery.  Season with some salt to get moisture out from the vegetables.  Cook until onion is translucent and vegetables have softened (7-8 minutes).  Add your canned tomatoes and mix well.
  6. Place your shanks in the slow cooker pot.  Add your vegetable mixture, white wine, orange juice and chicken stock. Also, add in your bouquet garni.
  7. Cook in slow cooker, 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.  

For the Gremolata:  combine parsley with lemon zest in a small mixing bowl.  If you like garlic, you can also add minced garlic to this mixture.



2 cups chicken stock

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese, maybe a little extra for sprinkling on top at serving


  1. Place the chicken stock in a large sauce pan.  Add the garlic and bring the stock to boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to a soft boil then slowly whisk in the polenta (do this slowly to avoid lumps).
  3. Switch to a wooden spoon and keep stirring and then add in salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, until it thickens.  Ensure that as you are stirring you are scraping the bottom and sides.
  4. Remove from heat then stir in milk and butter.  Then add in the Asiago cheese, saving a bit for serving.


After your polenta is cooked simply plate one shank with a bit of sauce.  Sprinkle with Gremolata.  Scoop polenta on the side, sprinkled with a bit of cheese.


Bon appetito!!


Christina xo


“Instead of going out to dinner, buy good food.                          Cooking at home shows such affection. In a bad economy, it’s more important to make yourself feel good.

Ina Garten