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Braised Veal Shanks (Osso Buco)

Braised Veal Shanks (Osso Buco)
Thick slices of veal shank are called osso buco in Italian, or "bone with a hole." The tender meat is often served with saffron-flavored risotto, although it can also be accompanied by fresh vegetables such as peas, asparagus and baby carrots, cooked in a little butter. Be sure to provide narrow spoons or knives for removing the rich marrow from its hollows.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 slices veal shank, each 1 1/2 inches thick,
      tied with kitchen string
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups veal, beef or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

Directions:

Spread the flour on a plate and dust the veal, tapping off the excess. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the veal and cook on one side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the meat and add the onion to the pan, scattering it around the pieces of veal. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the veal is browned on the other side, about 4 minutes more.

Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (The dish can be prepared up to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. To continue, reheat gently over low heat for 20 minutes.)

Combine the parsley and garlic clove on a cutting board and finely chop together. Transfer to a bowl, add the lemon zest and toss together. Scatter the mixture over the veal. Baste the veal with the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Transfer the veal to a warmed serving dish or individual plates. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).