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Osso Bocko – Veal Shank In Doppelbock
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Osso Bocko – Veal Shank In Doppelbock

Lent in Bavaria means doppelbock, the strong dark beer originally brewed by the monks to alleviate the meatless period between Carnival and Easter. I am not religious but I do thank the Bavarian monks for coming up with this exquisite beer type that apart from being delicious is also excellently suited for cooking.

Here I used doppelbock for a strictly Bavarian version of the famous Italian osso bucco. The side dishes are typically Bavarian too, pretzel dumplings and Speckkrautsalat, a kind of coleslaw with bacon.


Ingredients (serves 3):

  • 3 slices of veal shank
  • 500 ml of Bavarian doppelbock.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • Marjoram
  • Vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • Flour


  • 500 g white cabbage (about half of a small head)
  • 100 g diced bacon, pancetta or bauchspeck
  • 50 ml stock or broth, preferrably veal or beef
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50 ml vegetable oil

For the pretzel dumplings please refer here.

Time needed:

  • Preparation: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours


Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Cut onion, carrot and pasnip in chunks, seaon the meat with salt and black pepper. Heat some vegetable oil or clarified butter in an ovenproof brainsing pot and brown the veal from both sides on high heat, slice by slice. Remove and brown the vegetables. Deglaze with a good splash of the beer. Add garlic and marjoram, mix, put the meat on top and pour the rest of the beer into the pot. Cover and let simmer in the oven for  2 1/2 hours.

Remove the stem and the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut it into fine strips using a slicer. Brown the bacon without additional fat in a skillet on medium heat. Shortly before it is done add the sugar and caramelise it lightly. Deglaze with the broth and remove the skillet from the stove. Pour everything over the cabbage, add vinegar and oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix well, Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

Strain the sauce from the pot into a saucepan and reduce to 1/3 on high heat. Mix a little flour with water and whisk it into the sauce to get a binding. Season to taste.

There are several possibilities to prepare the pretzel dumplings. You can use the classic method of simmering them in hot water or you can fill the batter into an ovenproof mould and bake it. Baking at high temperature for about 1 hour gives a firm sliceable texture, but this would interfere with the low temperature braising of the meat. For this meal I simply pot the mould with the dumpling batter in the oven next to the braising pot for one hour. This way you get pretty much the same texture as a simmered dumpling but you can serve it with a spoon.

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