6 veal shanks, 2" thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
3 anchovy fillets or 3 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh tomato pulp or diced tomatoes
Bouquet Garni (peel of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup parsley sprigs, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf) Gremolada constisting of: 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced
Chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Get the tomatoes prepped and put together the Bouquet Garni.
For the gremoloda, finely chop the parsley and lemon zest and then mince the garlic.
Tie the shanks with some kitchen string so they don't fall apart while cooking and then season both sides with salt & pepper.
Next get your tomato pulp ready by slicing the tomatoes in half and squeezing out the seeds. Using a course grater, remove and reserve the pulp while discarding the skin. ( I used some fresh tomato sauce that I recently made from peeled and seeded tomatoes and it worked great.)
Put the bouquet garni ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth, bundle, and tie with a piece of kitchen string. My wife prepped the vegetables in our food processor saving a lot of time and energy. I made the Gremolada in my food processor as well to save time.
Start the cooking process by heating the butter and oil over medium-heat in a large pan that you can put in the oven. ( I used my Caphalon 10 inch frying pan) While the butter and oil are heating up, dredge the veal shanks in flour and then add to the pan. To get better browning, don't move them around in the pan.
If your shanks were as large as mine, you may have to cook three at a time. After about 5 minutes, turn and brown the other side. When done browning, remove, set aside on a plate, and brown the remaining shanks. When all the shanks are browned, remove and set aside. Pre heat your oven to 325°.
Turn down the heat on your stove to medium and add the onion, carrot, and celery to the same pan you browned the shanks in. Sauté until the onion caramelizes. (I found I needed to add a touch of olive oil at this point because the pan was dry.) Add the garlic and anchovy and sauté until you smell the garlic cooking.
Add wine and deglaze the pan and reduce until the wine is almost all cooked off. Add the chicken stock and tomato pulp. If you have room for all the shanks add the bouquet garni and veal shanks and bring to a boil. I didn't have room for all the shanks in my pan so I brought the ingredients to a boil and then transferred them to a large casserole pan, added the shanks and bouquet garni, and covered with a tight fitting lid.
Transfer your covered pan to the oven and roast. Baste the shanks with the sauce forming in the pan every 30 minutes. After cooking for about an hour, flip each shank over and cook on the other side for another hour. If you notice the sauce in the pan begins to boil, turn down the heat.
When the shanks are finished braising, remove and place on a hot serving platter, remove the kitchen string and keep the shanks warm. Remove and throw out the bouquet garni. The recipe calls for using a food mill, if you have one, to process the sauce in a bowl. I used my hand blender right in the pan, but you can also use a regular blender or a food processor to make the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
On a warm plate, add your side dishes, then a shank, sauce, top with gremolada and serve. This is a delicious recipe and well worth the effort. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.