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Ossobucco - Braised Veal Shanks

Here's a wonderful recipe for veal, that meat derived from young cattle (much of it coming from male calves of dairy cattle).  It makes a brown stew, rich with veal flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 veal shanks that have been sawed into thick crosswise pieces (think one shank per plate).
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 4 to 6 decent sized carrots, cut into ½" pieces
  • 2 parsnips, cut lengthwise and then chopped into 2" pieces
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 cups drained chopped tomatoes (canned will do just fine)
  • 2 cups of veal stock (you can use chicken stock; sometimes I've even used canned vegetable stock)

Preparation

First, I like to brown the shanks on each side in a frying pan with a bit of peanut oil in the bottom.  It gives them just a bit more flavor and makes a nice braising liquid.  You can skip this step, if you're in a hurry; but you'll lose out on some taste.

For the rest, you can use a crock-pot.  I line the bottom with the onions, carrots, parsnips, garlic.

Follow that with the shanks, placing them over the onions/carrots/parsnips bed.  Pour over it the stock and tomatoes.

Depending on your crock-pot, you'll want this to simmer for 4-5 hours.  If you have a crock-pot that runs on the hot side, simmer it for a shorter period until the veal is tender.

Remove the contents from the crock-pot, and drain all the liquid into a bowl.  To degrease the braising sauce, let it cool down a bit, pour it into a Ziploc bag (I set the bag in a wide measuring cup), and hold it up, so a corner of the bag is pointing down.  You'll notice right away that the grease separates from the braising liquid.  You can then cut the end of the corner off, or from the open side of the bag poke a hole in the corner with an ice pick or skewer, and drain the braising liquid into a measuring cup.  Discard the grease.  Heat the braising liquid to serve.

Serving

Place one shank on each plate and cover with the vegetables.  Pour the braising liquid over the vegetables and shank.

The Wine

Any good, light wine will go well with this meal.  I like a pinot noir from South Africa or New Zealand .