Bison Osso Bucco

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15 minutes
2 hours
Bison Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco is traditionally made with veal shanks. Our local bison version is a tasty spin on the classic. This technique of searing and braising meat along with tomatoes and vegetables is versatile with other meats as well. Brisket, chicken thighs, turkey thighs, whole chickens (cut into pieces), short ribs, chuck roast, etc. all work. Just follow same technique.

Osso bucco is traditionally served with gremolato, which is a citrus and herb blend meant to brighten up the heavy flavors of the dish. Our quick-garish version suggested below is a shortcut that achieves the same goal. 

If you have never tried bison, its very similar to beef but slightly less fatty. Give it a go!


For osso bucco

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 bison osso bucco shanks (you can also use other meats, see recipe description)

2 carrots, chopped coarsely

2 celery stalks chopped coarsely

1 onion, chopped coarsely

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup red wine (if you don’t have wine replace with chicken stock or water)

2 cups canned chopped tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock or water

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Zest from 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

For optional mashed potatoes

1 1/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 stick butter

1-3 cups milk, cream or half and half, enough to make potatoes creamy. Add more as needed while you mash.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If you don’t want to use all that cream or butter, you can substitute olive oil for butter and chicken stock for cream.


Prep veggies

It’s best cut up onions, celery, carrots to similar sized pieces before starting the rest of the dish. We like a larger cut (about 2 inches) for a more rustic dish. Chop all veggies and set aside.

Brown meat

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Season the bison with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until browned, turning to brown all sides. Transfer the to a plate.

Add veggies  

Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the dish. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized and becoming tender. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock or water and bring to a simmer over high heat.

Note: If you do not have wine or stock just adding water works, but we suggest wine and stock if you have it available.


Return the meat to the pan, nestling into the vegetables. Pour in any juices that may accumulated on the plate while the meat was resting. Cover the bot and braise in the oven for roughly 1 hour. After one hour, turn the shanks, cover and cook for roughly 1 more hour or until the meat is very tender. 

Mashed potatoes

While meat is cooking for its second hour, boil potatoes in salted water until for tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the same pot. Add butter and milk, half and half or cream. Mash the potatoes until a smooth consistency. Add more cream or butter if necessary along with salt and pepper to taste.

Plate and serve

To serve, we suggest spooning mashed potatoes onto the plate and placing 1 osso bucco shank along with a hearty scoop of the vegetables and braising sauce over the potatoes. Grate lemon zest over the dish and top with a pinch of chopped parsley. Enjoy!


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