This is without a question one of my favorite dishes of all time. Since we were young, my mother used to prepare this dish and every time it was a special occasion for the family to sit down around the table to eat this wonderful family dish with its thick rich sauce flowing from every piece of meat, perfect to pour over creamy mashed potatoes or golden risotto.
Take your time when you prepare this dish, enjoy every part of its classic school preparation and do it with love and devotion. This dish will thank you back with one of the finest creations of the Italian cuisine.
We will sear the meat or brown it, caramelize the “soffritto”, put them both together, add liquids and cook at low heat for 2 hours.
To achieve the perfect dish the caramelization of the “soffritto” is of outmost importance. The soffritto is made of 4 ingredients: onions, carrots, garlic and celery, you have to be patient and allow the sugars in the carrots and onions to caramelize. The whole mixture will turn golden orange and together these 4 ingredients will become one of the most important elements of the final flavor.
- Soffritto (process all veggies together in food processor, no more than 15 seconds-not overly fine to caramelize faster.
- Onions / 1 lbs
- Carrots / 6 oz
- Celery / 4 oz
- Garlic / 2 oz
- Veal shanks / 1.5 in. thick / 6
- Tomato Paste / 12 oz
- Flour (all purpose) as needed to cover shanks
- Beef stock / 4 cups
- Wine / 1 cup
- Milk / 1 cup
- Make 3 – 4 small cuts all around the shanks to prevent shrinkage.
- Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.
- At medium/high temperature, in a large Dutch oven pot, heat vegetable oil until beginning to smoke. Add the veal shanks to the hot pan and brown all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks, put on plate inside the oven turned off.
- To the same pot, add some butter, oil, and the ingredients for the soffritto. Scrape the bottom of the pot and cook at medium heat, mixing every now and then for about 20 min. or until golden. The richer the caramelization, the stronger the final gravy.
- When the soffritto is ready, place the browned shanks on top.
- Raise temperature to high and add the wine. Let evaporate @ 2 minutes.
- Add the milk. Shake the pot to loosen bottom pieces . Cook for @ 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste dissolved in the water with the beef stock / shanks have to be just barely covered / add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 2 hours or until tender.
- Remove shanks and place in serving platter.
- If sauce is too liquid, raise the temperature and allow to reduce until the right consistency.
Enjoy this wonderful dish!!…..Buon Apetitto