Melt-in-your-mouth instant pot osso buco. Tender veal shanks cooked in a rich and delicious sauce in half the time it would take to cook them the traditional way.
The instant pot osso buco recipe is a traditional Italian dish adapted for the instant pot. The shanks will be just as tender, juicy, and tasty, but cooking this delicious meal will never get faster than this. The meat is seared in the pot, then pressured cooked with vegetables, wine, stock, and aromatics until meltingly tender and utterly delicious.
You can try cooking this delicious Osso Buco in the Slow Cooker and see if you have a favorite. Regarding taste and texture, we love both versions; the meat is always super tender, and the rich flavor is unbeatable.
But using the instant pot is a bit easier in this case. You can sear the meat in the inner pot of your kitchen gadget without needing an extra skillet. And the beauty of this recipe is that dinner will be ready in about one hour instead of 6 to 8 hours.
And check out this Italian Meat Sauce, another classic dish to die for!
What is osso buco?
One of the most famous Italian dishes, a Lombardy specialty, usually served with saffron risotto Milanese and gremolata.
Osso buco, ossobuco, or “bone with a hole,” is the veal shank with the bone and its marrow in the middle. The cuts are simmered in a wine, tomato, and vegetable sauce until almost falling apart.
- Veal shanks: 2-2.5 lbs/ 900-1100 g cross-cut veal shanks, preferably four slices. But as you can see in the pictures, I had 3 large pieces and 3 that were smaller than the others, and in the end, everything was perfectly delicious.
- They are thick-cut pieces from the rear or front muscle of the upper leg of the animal. The best ones are those cut from the middle of the leg because the ratio of meat, marrow bone, and connective tissue is proportional.
- Liquids: Low-sodium beef broth, veal, or chicken stock.
- White wine. You can substitute it with red wine; the flavor will be slightly different but still perfectly delicious.
- Vegetables: Carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and one can of crushed tomatoes.
- Other ingredients: All-purpose flour, olive oil, thyme, oregano, one bay leaf or two, fine sea salt or Kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- Ingredients for gremolata: Garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon zest. You can add 2 minced anchovy fillets.
How to cook osso buco in the instant pot?
- Flour shanks: Dry them with a paper towel, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place the flour on a large plate and dredge the meat portions lightly through the flour. Pat them gently with your palms to remove the excess flour (1).
- Sear the meat: Press the Sauté function and heat 1 tablespoon oil until it sizzles (1-2 minutes). Brown two veal slices on both sides; it will take about 3 minutes per side (2).
- Remove them from the pot, add the second tablespoon of oil, and brown the second batch of meat until golden brown. Remove them from the pot as well.
- While the meat browns, finely chop the onion and the garlic. Dice the carrots and celery.
- Sauté vegetables: Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Cook the diced veggies for about 4 minutes or until softened, occasionally stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Pour in the wine and stock and deglaze, scraping the browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, dried herbs, bay leaves, and canned tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Place the browned meat slices on top; they don’t have to lie in a single layer or be covered in liquid (3).
- Pressure cook: Place the lid, seal the pot, and turn to High Pressure. Cook for 45 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release (meaning do nothing); it will take 15-20 minutes. Open the lid carefully and transfer the food to a serving dish (4).
- Gremolata: Grate the garlic and zest the washed and dried lemon. Place them in a small bowl and mix them with the finely chopped fresh herbs (and anchovies if using).
- Use low-sodium stock: Regular stock with too much salt would make the dish too salty.
- The veal slices don’t need to lie in a single layer in the pot, but you must sear them in batches. Also, don’t add too much liquid to the pot; the meat doesn’t need to be submerged in liquid.
You can. This is a traditional veal recipe, but beef shanks are more readily available and can be used instead. When cooked with veal, the dish has a sweeter and more delicate flavor; the flavors of the beef version are somewhat bolder. We love both versions.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat the meat and the sauce in a saucepan on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
Freeze leftovers in freezer containers for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.
How to serve?
- A traditional osso buco is served with risotto Milanese and gremolata, two Italian classic recipes.
- But you can also serve them on a bed of cheesy polenta or polenta mixed with fresh chopped herbs or Parmesan. Mashed potatoes, Simple Buttered Rice with Garlic, or pasta are also good choices.
More tender veal recipes
Instant Pot Osso Buco
- Instant pot
- 4 large slices veal shanks total weight 2-2.5 lbs/ 900-1100 g
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ¼ cup white wine 60 ml, Note 1
- ½ cup beef stock low-sodium, Note 2
- 1 can crushed tomatoes ,14 oz/ 400 g
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher salt + more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper + more to taste
- zest 1 lemon organic and unwaxed
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped
- 2 anchovy fillets finely chopped, optional
Instant pot osso buco
- Prepare the shanks: Dry them with paper towels, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and dredge them lightly through the flour. Pat them gently to remove the excess flour.4 veal shanks, salt, and pepper to season, 1 Tbsp flour
- Sear: Press Sauté high. Add 1 tablespoon oil and preheat the pot until the oil sizzles (1-2 minutes). Brown 2 of the meat slices for about 3 minutes per side. Remove them from the pot, add the second tablespoon of oil, and brown the remaining two veal slices. Remove them from the pot.
- Vegetables: While the meat browns, finely chop the onion and the garlic. Dice the carrots and celery.1 onion + 3 garlic cloves + 2 carrots + 2 celery stalks
- Sauté vegetables: Add the third tablespoon of oil to the instant pot. Sauté the vegetables for about 4 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Assemble: Deglaze with wine and stock, scraping the brown bits at the bottom of the pot. Add salt, pepper, dried herbs, bay leaves, and tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Place the shanks on top; they don’t have to lie in a single layer, and they don’t have to be covered in liquid.¼ cup/ 60 ml white wine + ½ cup/ 125 ml beef broth; 1 can crushed tomatoes + ½ teaspoon thyme + ½ teaspoon oregano + 2 bay leaves + ¼ teaspoon salt + ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Pressure cook: Place the lid, seal the pot, and turn to High Pressure. Cook for 45 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally; it will take 15-20 minutes. Open the lid carefully and transfer everything to a serving dish.
- Combine ingredients: Wash, dry, and zest the lemon. Grate the garlic. Mix them with the finely chopped parsley (and anchovies if using).zest of 1 lemon + 3 garlic cloves + 1 bunch parsley (+ 2 anchovy fillets)
- Wine: Red wine is also good.
- Stock: Sub with veal or chicken stock.