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Comfort me with Comfort food!

Even though our winters are fairly mild in Texas, the fragrance of a slow cooked meal on a dreary January day is heavenly. Veggie-loaded Slow Cooked Osso Bucco is one of those dishes that is easy to prepare and full of slow roasted veggies.

I especially like this Italian inspired meal for a dinner party as you can do the prep work by 11 or so in the morning, and set your slow cooker for dinnertime. I prepare risotto and roasted Brussel-sprouts a day ahead, and just reheat about an hour before dinner is served.

Italians in Texas: By 1920 there were 8000 Italians living in Texas. Most fled the social and economic conditions of Italy. A name you may recognize is noted bootmaker Sam Lucchese.

Veggie-loaded, slow-cooked Osso Buco

Servings 8



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 1½- to 2-inch-thick veal shanks (about 5 lbs.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 14½ oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 5 fresh, chopped Roma tomatoes
  • cups chicken broth
  • 2 small red onions, chopped (2-3 cups)
  • 1 bunch celery, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme


  • ½ cup finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely-grated lemon zest
  • Squeezed juice from grated lemons (aprrox. 2 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic


  • Put the flour in a wide, shallow dish. Season the veal shanks all over with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour; shake off the excess flour.
  • Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and when it foams, add the shanks to the skillet. Cook until golden, turning once, about 10 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker.
  • Add the wine to the skillet. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, carrot, celery, and thyme. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours—the meat will be very tender and almost falling off the bone.
  • Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into a large skillet. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a gravy bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic to make a gremolata. Serve the veal shanks topped with the reduced sauce and the gremolata.


  • The traditional recipe calls for only 2 stalks of celery and carrots. I like to load up on healthy veggies and it makes a pretty presentation.
  • Serve with sides of risotto and roasted Brussel sprouts - which can both be prepared a day ahead.
  • You can set your slow cooker to be ready an hour or so before the time your guests arrive and turn temperature to keep warm. I used my MIL’s hand-me -down cooker (the kind your grandmother cooked her turkey in).