Recipe from Chef Mario Batali; Region: Lombardia; Book: Simple Italian Food (Clarkson Potter 1998); Yield: 4 Servings
- 4 Veal Shanks, cut 3 inches thick (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium Carrot, chopped into 1/4-inch-thick coins
- 1 small Spanish Onion, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 Celery stalk, chopped into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Thyme leaves
- 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 2 cups dry White Wine
- 1 recipe Risotto Milanese (recipe below)
- 1 recipe Gremolata (recipe below)
Basic Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 spanish onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
- Two 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley
- 1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted under the broiler until dark brown
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon Saffron threads
- 2 cups Arborio Rice
- 4 cups Chicken Stock, hot
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Season the shanks all over with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed 6 to 8 quart casserole, heat the olive oil until smoking. Place the shanks in the pan and brown all over, turning to get every surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the shanks and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the carrot, onion, celery, and thyme leaves and cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chicken stock, and wine and bring to a boil. Place shanks back into pan, making sure they are submerged at least halfway. If shanks are not covered halfway, add more stock. Cover the pan with tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Place in oven at 375°F for 2 to 2 1/2 hours and cook until meat is nearly falling off the bone.
Remove the casserole from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving with Risotto Milanese and Gremolata.
Basic Tomato Sauce
In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, with their juice, and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for 6 months.
Mix the parsley, pine nuts, and lemon zest loosely in a small bowl. Set askide until ready to serve. Makes 1/2 cup.
In a 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the saffron and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add a 4- to 6-ounce ladle of the stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Sir in the butter and cheese until well mixed.