Ossobuco is Italian for "bone with a hole" (osso = bone, buco = hole), a reference to the marrow hole at the centre of the cross-cut veal shank. The dish is a Milanese specialty of veal shanks, braised with vegetables, white wine and broth.
The original version, 'Ossobuco in biancois', is flavoured with cinnamon, bayleaf and gremolata (a condiment of lemon zest, garlic and parsley). Likely to have originated as a farmhouse dish in the late 19th century, it is typically served with risotto alla Milanese.
Modern versions include carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions and herbs like rosemary and thyme. The Milanese are very proud of their ossobuco which, according to Pellegrino Artusi, a late 19th-century businessman and writer, "is a dish that should be left to the Milanese".