Italian Ossobucco alla Milanese (Italian Veal Shanks)
- 2/3 cup celery , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup yellow onion , finely chopped
- 2/3 cup carrot , finely chopped
- 2 slices lemons , rind of
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic , finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups veal stock (can substitute homemade chicken of beef)
- 2 veal shanks
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 leaves fresh basil (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 1/2 cups Italian tomatoes , coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon , rind of, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic , very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley , finely chopped
Veal shanks should be sawed into 8 pieces about 2″ long. Spread flour on a plate or on waxed paper. Tomatoes should be with their juice.
Preheat oven to 350. Choose a heavy casserole with a tight fitting lid that is just large enough to contain the veal pieces. Use two casseroles if necessary.
Put the onion, carrot, celery, and butter and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the vegetables soften and wilt. Add the chopped garlic and lemon peel at the end. Remove from the heat.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the trussed pieces of veal in the flour, shaking off any excess. When the oil is quite hot (test it with the corner of one of the pieces of veal: a moderate sizzle means the heat is just right), brown the veal on all sides. (Brown the veal as soon as it has been dipped in flour, otherwise the flour may dampen, and the meat won’t brown properly).
Stand the pieces of veal side by side on top of the vegetables in the casserole. Tip the skillet and draw off nearly all the fat with a spoon. Add the wine and boil briskly for about 3 minutes, scraping up and loosening any browning residue stuck to the pan. Pour over the pieces of veal in the casserole.
In the same skillet, bring the broth to a simmer and pour into the casserole. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juice, the thyme, basil, bay leaves, parsley, pepper and salt. (Hold off on salt until after cooking if you are using canned beef broth. It is sometimes very salty). The broth should come up to the top of the veal pieces. If it does not, add more.
Bring the contents of the casserole to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover tightly and place in the lower third of the preheated oven. Cook for about 2 hours, carefully turning and basting the veal pieces every 20 minutes. When done, they should be very tender when pricked with a fork, and their sauce should be dense and creamy. (if, while the veal is cooking, there is not enough liquid in the casserole, you may add up to 1/3 cup of warm water). If the reverse is true, and the sauce is too thin when the veal is done, remove the meat to warm platter, place the uncovered casserole on top of the stove, and over high heat briskly boil the sauce until it thickens.
Pour the sauce over the veal and serve piping hot. NOTE When transferring the veal pieces to the serving platter, carefully remove the trussing strings without breaking up the shanks.
GREMOLADA Marcella recommends against making it, but if you must try it yourself, the ingredients are as follows: one teaspoon of grated lemon peel, 1/4 teaspoon very finely chopped garlic and 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley. Gremolada is sprinkled over the veal shanks just as they finish cooking.