Makes 4 Servings
- 4 portions of veal shanks, about 2 ½ inches in length, each securely tied with butcher’s twine or string
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons butter) plus 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
- 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup all- purpose flour on a plate or wax paper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cup beef broth
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Choose a large, very heavy casserole with a tight-fitting lid. It should be large enough to cook the veal pieces in a single layer. Place the casserole over medium heat and melt the ¼ cup butter. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables soften and wilt.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is quite hot (test it with a corner of the veal; a moderate sizzle means the heat is just right), season the pieces of veal with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the veal to the skillet and brown it on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Place the veal side by side on top of the vegetables in the casserole.
Tip the skillet and draw of nearly all the fat with a spoon. Add the wine and beef broth and heat, stirring, for about 3 minutes, scraping up and loosening any brown bits stuck to the skillet. Pour this liquid over the veal and vegetables. Bake for about 2 ½ hours until tender and the meat starts to pull from the bone. You can either serve this dish as is or remove the meat and then reduce the liquid in the casserole over high heat, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to finish. Remove the string around shanks and reheat gently in sauce before serving.
** Tip**: Polenta or risotto are nice accompaniments to this succulent dish.