While it takes a bit longer to cook, this whole shank Osso Buco sure does impress!

Well – I had a bit of a hiatus here. I got a job at a brewery! It’s like the mothership was calling me home. But alas, the commute was long and the work was demanding but fun so needless to say my side project here at Laura’s Wild Kitchen was put on the back burner. Unfortunately, the brewery went out of business so now I’m back! Thanks for sticking with me!

We decided to make Osso Buco with a whole elk shank, instead of with a shank cut into more personal sized pieces, mostly out of necessity. This was born, as things often are in my kitchen, when a bone saw, a food saver and a lack of foresight came together.

In other words, we butchered then froze the whole shanks without even thinking about it. As such, we had whole shanks to work with.

So here we are.

While Osso Buco is normally a shorter braise, this, I’m afraid, is not. Getting a whole elk shank tender takes the full 8 hours in a crock pot. (If you have an Instant Pot – throw it all in there for 90 minutes and let the pressure naturally release.)

However, when it’s all said and done it makes a really wonderful presentation! Great if you’re having company over, or for any holiday.

One quick note – a whole elk shank will definitely have marrow in the bone! About half way through, find the tiniest fork you have (or try a knife or a chopstick) and fish it out of the end, then stick in the juices so it can melt and make a fattier veggie gravy.

5 from 2 votes
Whole shank Osso Buco
  • 4 lb Elk shank Give or take, just make sure it fits in your crock pot!
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 large onion minced
  • 2 large carrots minced
  • 1 stalk celery minced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 3/4 c chicken stock or water
  • 1 can (28 oz) peeled whole tomatoes drained, seeded and then hand crushed up
  • 3 stalks fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • zest and juice of one lemon for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, sear the elk shank on all sides (about 2 minutes per side). If the pan starts to burn, deglaze with a little water and keep going. Throw any juices, and the elk shank, into the crock pot.

  2. Add the minced vegetables, garlic, wine, stock, tomatoes and herbs into the crock pot. Set it on low and cook for 6-8 hours, until the shank is tender and cooked through. The meat should almost fall apart.

  3. Move the shank to a large serving platter. Add the butter to the vegetables in the crock pot and stir until melted and combined. Surround the shank with the cooked vegetables and juices. Garnish with parsley, some lemon zest, and a squeeze of lemon juice. 

  4. To serve, cut off large chunks of the shank (almost like giving each person a hunk of roast) and spoon the veggies over.

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3 Comments on "Whole shank Osso Buco"

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Mama Lou

Yea! You’re back! It looks scrumptious. And yes, an instapot is a great alternative to 8 hours in a crock pot.


Ummmm. When do we eat? Welcome back Booboo.

My crockpot is seriously questionable so used 6.5 qt Dutch oven, in the oven @325. 2 lb boneless elk shank. Used the rest of the recipe as is so there would be plenty of sauce. I baked at 325 for about an hour. Took it out, rotated the shank so it was all moist, and put it into the frig after it cooled. Following day I took it out of the frig, put it back into the oven at 325 for 3 more hours. The meat was absolutely delicious!!! Connective tissue soft as butter. Sauce was wonderful!! I really hope… Read more »