Beef Shank Ossobuco with Polenta

Beef Shank Ossobuco with Polenta

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves four 1x
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Beef Shank Ossobuco with Polenta, talk about a stick to your rib, nothing but flavor, oh so comforting dish. Tender beef shank floured, seared, then left to simmer in a rich tomato sauce backed up by that soulful carrot, celery, onion trio. I may have the “life is too tough” blues, but this dish has definitely talked to my soul in a good way!


Beef Shanks:

  • 2 x 500g organic beef shanks
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 3 medium carrots washed peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery washed and diced
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 cups of stewed tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh basil washed and hand torn
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper


  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley


Beef shank:

  1. Pour flour into a shallow dish, mix in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Take beef shank and place in flour, flipping it over to coat all sides with flour. Do the same for the other beef shank.
  3. Heat up olive oil in a cast iron pan.
  4. Place beef shanks into pan and sear for about 2 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
  5. Turn beef shanks over and sear again for 2 minutes.
  6. Put seared shanks into a  large baking dish and set aside.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In the cast pan that you seared the beef shank in, drizzle more olive oil and toss in the garlic, chopped carrots, onions, and celery.
  3. Saute until onions become translucent and celery and carrots soften. Cooks for about 10-15 minutes on low to medium heat.
  4. Pour in stewed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and fresh torn basil. Simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. Remember to turn frequently to prevent it from sticking and burning.
  5. Once sauce thickens a bit, pour over beef shanks, cover dish with foil paper and place in oven. Cook for about 30 minutes then turn heat to around 325° F and cook for another hour.


  1. While beef shanks are cooking in the oven, bring water to a low boil in a medium pot.
  2. Season water with coarse sea salt. Taste to make sure it is seasoned well.
  3. Slowly sprinkle in cornmeal whisking the mixture well until all the cornmeal is in.
  4. Keep whisking and cook on low to medium heat until cornmeal thickens and is similar to porridge.
  5. Take off heat and cover for about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in buttermilk and whisk until smooth.


  1. Take a scoop full of polenta and place it on a serving dish.
  2. Lay the beef shanks on top of the polenta and scoop the sauce and lay on the beef shanks.


  1. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley on top and on the edges of the plate.
  2. Ready to serve.



  1. You can use veal shanks. That is what is typically used for ossobuco.
  2. If you don’t want polenta on the base, some use orzo pasta or even rice or potato.
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