top of page



Today we are focusing on beef shanks, or osobuco as it is called here in Argentina.

Cow shank is the leg portion of the steer. And can be found on the front and hind legs of the animal. This muscle does a lot of work over the steer’s lifetime, making it extremely tough, sinewy and full of connective tissue. It is commonly used in ground beef and outside of the United States and Argentina, it is called gravy beef in Australia and stew beef in Great Britain.

The names that certain states give to this primal cut says it all, including Argentina! This primal cut is regularly used in stews because the connective tissue in the meat turns into gelatin when cooked slowly, making it extremely flavorful and more tender.

Beef shanks are extremely lean, making it perfect for low-fat ground beefs. Along with these, the primal cut is ideal for making the french dish, beef bourguignon, and the Italian dish, osso buco.

So why does Argentina call this primal cut of meat osobuco, the name of a famous and luxurious dish in Italy? The name has everything to do with Argentina’s history and serious italian heritage.


Up to 24 million Argentines today have some percentage of Italian descent. That is a big number for a country of 42 million people. The major wave of immigration to Argentina happened between 1880 – 1920. In 1914 alone, 25% of the population in Buenos Aires was made up of Italian immigrants.

Statistics like these make sense today.

It is clear here in Buenos Aires that Italy has influenced this population. From the porteño accent, family customs, hand gestures and food, the Argentine culture definitely has a little Italian in it.

With all that, it makes sense that Argentina would adopt the name of this famous Italian dish, osso buco, and call it osobuco. It is a result of Italian emigration and and love for all things italian here. Just like in Europe and the US, this meat is regularly slow cooked here in Argentina or used as for stews, called guiso.


bottom of page