Ask your butcher for four veal shanks of similar size, each of them tied so the meat is secured to the bone. The initial searing of the meat is essential to the outcome of this dish. Take your time, and don't let the pieces touch in the pan while you're browning them. Serve with Creamy Polenta.
- Servings: 4
Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2000
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 veal shanks, tied to secure meat to bone
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 fresh sage leaves
- 3 fresh sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- Zest of half a lemon, cut into long strips, pith removed
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 canned plum tomatoes, crushed
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups Homemade Beef Stock Homemade Beef Stock
Heat oven to 275 degrees. In a 7-quart flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium to medium-low heat, heat vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Coat each veal shank well with flour; tap off excess. Working in batches if necessary to keep veal shanks from touching at all, add shanks (they should sizzle the moment they hit the pan). Cook until well browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes; do not rush. Remove the veal shanks from the casserole, and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat, add dried mushrooms, and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Strain mushrooms, reserving 1/2 cup soaking liquid.
Prepare bouquet garni: Tie bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, lemon zest, and peppercorns together in a piece of cheesecloth. Add carrots, celery, and onion to casserole; cook until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, stock, mushrooms with soaking liquid, and bouquet garni.
Return browned shanks to casserole; stir gently to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven; cook until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Check occasionally to ensure a gentle simmer; adjust heat or height of rack as needed.
Transfer shanks to a platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Set casserole over medium heat; simmer until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Return shanks to casserole just to heat and coat with sauce. Serve hot.