no longer eat veal or lamb very often in this area, therefore, the meat departments of the various
stores no longer carry much of a variety.
The one local supermarket did come through but the veal shanks were cut at some distribution
plant far away and came two to a pack, rather small and barely one inch thick. Take it or leave it.....it
is what it is.
An Italian market in Hershey, Pennsylvania came through as well. The veal shanks were two
inches to two and one half inches thick and quite large. These were the ones I chose to serve
for my dinner party.
Years and years ago, I would serve Braised Short Ribs with a wonderful sauce and our catering customers were ecstatic when I would put this dish on the menu.
I cooked the Osso Buco the same way.
I chopped the carrots, onions and celery the night before and bagged them so I could move right
along after browning the veal. I think it imperative that the vegetables be cut in uniform, even
small dice.....I call this confetti dice. It makes for a lovely presentation on the veal but also cooks
evenly as well.
Browning of the veal is very important. You want to create a fond on the bottom of your pot.
After tying each piece of veal (so they don't completely fall apart after cooking), dust with
seasoned flour. Then heat a dutch oven, add olive oil and a knob of butter and, when sizzling,
add the veal. My veal shanks were so very large, this took more than 15 minutes! When one
side is nicely browned, flip the veal over and brown the other side. Remove from the pot and
place the veal on a platter to rest.
Into the same pot, add the mirepoix, stirring to loosen up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add a dash of salt and pepper and minced garlic. When the vegetables are slightly tender, add white wine to deglaze the pot.
Add fresh thyme leaves, fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, 3 bay leaves, 3 T. tomato paste and cook
for about 5 minutes. Then add veal or beef stock and bring to boil. Return the meat to the pot and
add chopped tomatoes on top of each veal shank. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Cook
about two and one half hours. I checked every hour to make sure all was well. The sauce will
thicken beautifully and the veal should be fork tender.
I forgot to take a photo of the finished plates!!! They looked lovely. I made Risotto Milanese with
Saffron and placed the veal on top with all the vegetables and sauce. Then I topped the veal with
I made extra for my mother and did take a photo of that!
With all the sauce and vegetables, you can hardly see the veal! The veal just fell apart and the
sauce was yummy. If you can find veal shanks, this is worth the effort. But if beef is your
choice, you can do this same recipe with the beef short ribs and you will have a winner!
6 large veal shanks, 2-2 1/2 inches thick, patted dry and tied with butcher's twine
1/2 C. all purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
6 T. olive oil
4 T. unsalted butter
1 C. white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1-1/2 C. finely diced carrots
3/4 C. finely diced celery
1 large Vidallia onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. beef or veal stock (not broth!)
3 T. tomato paste
1 T. fresh thyme
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 can plum tomatoes, chopped, drained
3 bay leaves
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh parsley
zest of one lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
A winter salad of arugula, fennel and naval oranges with citrus vinaigrette was served after
the Osso Buco. I did not serve a rich dessert. Instead, we had a cheese course with grapes
and pears and theOrange Almond Biscotti and Sesame Cookies I had made. This was just the right finale for this meal.