by John Ryan
Here's my version of the real thing. In many respects it's not that different than the previous version with chicken, but I generally save this for company because it takes longer and veal is more costly than chicken.
You need about 2 hours and a baking dish that easily holds the 4 veal shanks in one layer.
4 veal shanks, about 1-1/2 inches thick
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 cloves garlic minced with 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves and 2 anchovies
1 cup white wine
1 can diced tomatoes (approximately 15 ounces)
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup water
2 bay leaves
1. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees F. Dry the veal shanks with a paper towel while your skillet gets hot. Add the oil to the pan, dredge the veal in flour (shaking off excess) and brown them in the pan. Put them in a baking dish.
2. Add the onion, celery and carrot to the skillet as you dice them. When the onion is soft and beginning to brown, add the garlic/thyme/anchovy mixture. Stir well, then add 2 tablespoons of the dredging flour to the vegetables. This will gum everything up, but stir it for 3 or 4 minutes to sort of roast the flour.
3. Start adding the wine slowly, stirring after each addition. After the flour has absorbed all the wine, add the tomatoes, broth, water, and bay leaves. Bring this to a boil, pour it over the shanks, cover the baking dish, and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Meanwhile, make the Gremolata and set aside.
4. Salt and pepper the sauce to taste, then you can stir in some Gremolata to taste or pass the Gremolata at the table for guests to stir into their plate of food.
Think of this as a seasoning rather than a garnish.
1 small handful parsley leaves
3 fat cloves garlic
1 two-inch strip of lemon peel (only the yellow part—use a potato peeler)
Roughly chop the parsley and push it to one corner of your cutting board. Chop the garlic and push it to another corner while you mince the lemon peel. Bring everything together and mince like crazy till it has a sandy consistency. Keep it covered in a small bowl so it doesn't dry out.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created October 1999
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