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Lamb Osso Buco with Creamy Polenta

Lamb Osso Buco

While osso buco is most commonly prepared with veal, the name actually means bone hole and refers to the cut of meat rather than the type of meat. So it’s easy to substitute an economical leg steak of lamb, as I did here. This is slow-braised, meaty goodness at its best. The lamb is fragrant with wine, rosemary, thyme and aromatics, and falling-apart tender. The polenta plays the perfect supporting role in its creamy, comforting glory.

This Lamb Osso Buco recipe is part of the March Seasonal Food Guide.

Serves 2 (Scale up accordingly)

1 pound lamb leg steak or similar cut of lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced lengthwise
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt + pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Thoroughly pat dry the lamb steaks. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat three tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. When shimmering, add the lamb steaks and sear, without disturbing, for about five minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Remove steaks and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the onions and saute for about two minutes. Add the carrots and celery and saute for about seven minutes more, stirring. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and stir again.

Next, deglaze the pot with the red wine. Add the wine and scrape the bottom with a wood spoon to dislodge any delicious crisped bits on the bottom. Add the chicken stock and stir.

Return the lamb steaks to the pot, nestle the sprigs of rosemary and thyme within, and cover.

Transfer to the oven and cook for about 1.5 hours, until the meat is falling-apart tender. Check on it halfway through, flipping the steaks.

Serve over polenta or risotto. Enjoy with a robust red wine.


1 cup polenta
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt + freshly ground black pepper

In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the polenta, stirring constantly. Continue to stir the polenta, pretty much constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Taste the polenta to check for doneness. If it remains undercooked but the stock has been absorbed, add a little more. Once the polenta is cooked, turn off heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with the Lamb above, or anything you desire. Enjoy!

  • Mika - This pic is wonderful…
    I ate so many of these as a child…then my mother stopped cooking it and I don’t know why…ReplyCancel

  • JehanP - I love polenta and yours looks so beautiful and creamy.ReplyCancel

  • sara - Wow, gorgeous photo! This sounds absolutely amazing…I want to eat some right now, and it’s only 7 in the morning! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Laura Flowers - I’m drooling. No wait, it’s too early to drool over dinner! This can’t be happening to me! This will be my dinner. Oh yes, it will.


  • NicoleD - I have never tried osso bucco, but I eye it at Whole Foods from time to time. I think I feel intimidated by it, but your simple recipe has enlightened me. Great idea to use lamb. The beautiful lamb against the yellow polenta is simply gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • kimberley - @Mika: It’s so easy! You should have a go at it.
    @JehanO: Thank you!
    @sara: Ha! Thanks!
    @Laura Flowers: Never too early to drool over dinner! Let me know how it goes if you make it.
    @NicoleD: If you’ve ever braised anything (which I bet you have), this will be a cinch. It’s a classic braise. :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Looks incredibly comforting. A great meal to have in early spring, just before it starts getting too hot for braised meat.ReplyCancel

  • bianca - I love osso bucco and I’ve had it with lamb as well- not veal though; I just cannot bring myself to do the whole veal thing. I must try it with polenta- meaty, creamy, yes please!ReplyCancel

  • blogbytina! - this is my husband’s favorite dish, but I never learned how to make it :/ thanks for breaking it down, now I have no excuses :DReplyCancel

  • Joanne - Lamb is the only meat I ever really crave and this pull-apart succulent version of it would really hit the spot. I think i need to find myself a lamb shank. Pronto.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - This is a lovely recipe for a weekend meal – and a beautiful photo, too!ReplyCancel

  • christelle is flabbergasting - I discovered your blog yesterday via twitter! I am in love with your pics and style! AND will absolutely try your lamb osso buco (when my oven will be repaired :/) Looking forward to read new post!ReplyCancel

  • Kankana - I very recently got introduced to Polenta and my oh my it’s so yummy and with that lamb .. i can imagine how amazing it will taste. :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz - Thank you- just made this with mg bf last night. He was very impressed! My only additions were a little extra salt and since my steaks were not fatty, I seared them in less time. Keep posting awesome recipes!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mayra - This dish was perfect on Easter Sunday. We love veal osso bucco and had never tried it with lamb. This will go on our favorite list definetely!!! The leftovers the next day was even better.ReplyCancel

  • Randi - Hello
    What a yummy recipe. I found this after picking up the cuts from my Lamb Man.

    Just one question – How thick are your cuts for this dish?

    Seems like 325 Temp is too high for the cook time. I am concerned about my lamb being though, over cooked.

    Can you help? Thank U
    SLC, UTReplyCancel

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