This classic veal dish is perfect for holiday meals and cooks while you prepare for guests.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 4-6 pieces veal osso bucco shanks (1 per adult portion), tied with kitchen string
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 small ribs celery and leafy tops, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
- 2 large fresh bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (5-6 sprigs), chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (a couple of springs), finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces), in juice
- Zest and juice of 1 orange, divided
- A couple pinches of red pepper flakes
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachio nuts or pine nuts, finely chopped or processed into crumbs
- Crusty bread, for mopping
Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper and brown them all over, turning occasionally, 12-15 minutes. Remove the meat to a large plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO along with the carrot, celery and onion to the pot and stir for 3-4 minutes. Then add in the fennel seed, four cloves garlic, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir for a minute more. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir for another minute more. Add the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping and stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and saffron, followed by the tomatoes. Reserve the zest of the orange and add its juice to the sauce. Scrape down the pot and settle the meat into the pot. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, turning the meat once about mid-way through the cooking time.
When the meat is about ready to come out of the oven, combine the orange zest on a board with the lemon zest. Finely chop the parsley and combine with the remaining finely chopped garlic, zest and chopped or processed nuts to make a gremolata.
Remove the meat from the oven. Split the crusty bread and place it in the oven to warm through. Remove the shanks from the pot to a platter and cut off the kitchen string. Place the pot over medium-high heat, fish the bay leaves out of the sauce and whisk to combine and thicken, 4-5 minutes.
Serve the shanks in shallow bowls topped with chunky sauce and some of the gremolata. Serve the crusty bread for mopping alongside.