I was in Lazy Acres meat department picking up an order when I notice the beautiful veal shanks in the case. This time of year, I love any kind of braised meat, beef, or chicken and one of my favorites is Osso Bucco. I’m not sure why you don’t see it on restaurant menu’s very often, perhaps the cost of veal would choke you, but you can also make it with beef shanks which aren’t quite as expensive.
Although this dish takes a fair amount of time to cook, hands-on cooking time is very little. Instead of cooking the dish in an oven for up to 3 hours, a slow cooker or maybe even an instant-pot would do.
A braise is a dish that used two kinds of cooking techniques, one is searing, and the other is moist heat cooking (in liquid). Wine, broth, and tomatoes are used to ‘stew’ this rather tough cut of meat into fall apart deliciousness. Typically served with Risotto Milanese but you could substitute mashed potatoes or pasta.
6 1-1/4-inch-thick veal (or beef) shanks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, reserve 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoon tomato paste 1
1 28-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped, juices reserved
1 cup low-salt chicken broth, more if needed
1 large sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs. arrowroot mixed with 2 tsp. broth or water
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Wrap string around the shanks to hold them together. Put the flour onto a paper plate, Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Dredge the shanks lightly in flour, shake off the excess.
Use a large Le Creuset or the like, one that you can fit all the shanks in laying flat.
Heat pan and add oil, when hot add ½ the shanks and brown well on both sides. Remove and repeat with remaining shanks, set aside.
Pour or scoop excess oil out of the pan leaving the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter and reserved 1 Tbs. of oil.
When the butter is melted, add the onion, celery, carrot, oregano, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned and translucent. Add the wine, and increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon, until the wine is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes Stir in the tomato paste. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the broth, thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the shanks back to the pan, cover and cook in the oven until tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, checking the liquid occasionally.
If it has cooked down, add enough broth to keep the level about halfway up the shanks. To check for doneness, pierce a shank with a fork. The meat should pull apart easily.
Strain the pan juices through a medium-mesh sieve into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids with a spatula to extract as much sauce as you can. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Whisk in the arrowroot mixture and cook briefly to thicken.
To cook in a slow cooker, after browning the meat and deglazing the pot, add the shanks to a slow cooker and pour all the juices over them. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
Recipe edited from Fine Cooking