A dish from Milan (Italy) translating to ‘bone with a hole in it’ is all the cold weather comfort food I need. A humble dish of braised veal shanks in wine and aromatics is not only delicious but is also an easy way to feed a large crowd.
While ingredients for this classic dish vary (some with red wine, some without tomato and others with cinnamon and bay leaves), I am happy to say that along with a few vegetables some wine and plenty of cooking this dish is sure to always please.
Shank meat is a cheap cut as it contains a lot of cartilage however; it is also one of the tenderest cuts as long as it is cooked for a few hours.
This recipe is far from traditional but is warm, filling and very tasty - especially because you get to suck out the slow cooked creamy wine marinated marrow at the end!
4 ossobuco (5cm/2inch veal shanks) If you cant get an ossbuco cut of veal ask your butcher to cut veal or lamb shanks into 2 inch slices
1 onion, chopped
375ml (1 1/2 cups) red wine
250ml (1 cup) beef stock
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Plain flour, for dusting
1/2 lemon or orange, grated
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Dust the ossobuco with flour and melt 40g butter in an ovenproof casserole dish. Add the ossobuco and cook over high heat, turning frequently, until browned all over. Remove from pan and turn down to a medium heat. Melt the rest of the butter and add the onion, carrot and celery cooking for 8 minutes or until soft.
Add the ossobuco back to the pan and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and tomato paste and continue to cook for a further few minutes. Add the red wine and beef stock.
Bring to the simmer, cover with a lid or foil and cook in the oven to 1 hour. After an hour reduce the heat to 120 and continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced slightly.
In the meantime mix the gremolata ingredients together with a fork in a bowl.
To serve, carefully place the meat on a plate, and cover with a generous ladle of sauce. Sprinkle with gremolata and serve with mashed potato and polenta.