Saffron risotto with veal shin

Saffron risotto with veal shin

Risotto alla milanese con ossobuco

Laura Edwards

Of the many risotti that exist in the Po Valley, the Italian rice-growing area, risotto milanese is perhaps the most famous – and the most delicious. It has been so valued that one chef, wanting to celebrate it, covered it with a small square of gold leaf! I don’t think this is entirely necessary, as the risotto is precious enough as it is, especially if you were able to use the acquerello carnaroli rice produced by my friends Piero and Marianava Rondolino (Livorno Ferraris/Piedmont).


Quantity Ingredient
4-6 ossobuchi
plain flour, for dusting
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
100ml white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
200ml good beef or chicken stock
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
freshly ground black pepper


Quantity Ingredient
1.5 litres good beef or chicken stock
1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
100g unsalted butter
350g carnaroli risotto rice
100ml dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
or 10 saffron strands
60g parmesan, freshly grated


  1. Start with the veal shin. Dip the shin slices in flour and fry on each side in the olive oil in a large saucepan or braising pan. When golden, after about 5 minutes on each side, put on to a plate. In the same pan with the same oil, fry the onion, celery and carrot for about 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the wine and tomato purée, and stir together. Add the stock and rosemary, and braise until the meat detaches from the bone. This should take about 1½ hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm while you finish the risotto.
  2. About 30 minutes before the veal is ready, start the risotto. Have the stock warming in a saucepan nearby. Using a large pan, fry the very finely chopped onion in half the butter until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice, and stir to ensure each grain is covered with fat. Now pour in the wine, and cook to let this evaporate for a couple of minutes. Add the saffron too, then start to add the simmering stock, ladle by ladle. Let each ladleful be absorbed before adding the next. Continue stirring and adding stock until the rice is al dente (some 15–20 minutes). Taste for salt and add if necessary.
  3. Add the remaining butter and the grated Parmesan to the risotto. Stir very well, and serve with the ossobuco.
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