Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Top five bone-in dishes: #5: veal shanks with gremolata.

Throw half a cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt and the same of pepper into a plastic bag. Now add two veal shanks. Twist the bag closed and shake it to coat the shanks in the seasoned flour.

Warm some oil in a heavy pan and sear the shanks. It is difficult to sear a cylindrical shape all over, so roll them around by shaking the pan gently. Remove seared shanks to a baking dish and add to the pan a finely chopped onion, a diced carrot, a diced zucchini, two scored garlic cloves and a splash of stock. Shake the pan, put a lid on it and leave it for three minutes to steam the vegetables. Then tip the whole thing into the baking dish and add a cup of red wine, a tin of diced tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato puree, a couple of dozen pitted black olives and enough stock to cover. I also empty the rest of the seasoned flour from the plastic bag into the dish to help the fluid thicken.

Two hours in the oven should do it. The meat will fall off the bone if you're not careful when removing from baking dish.

Serve over potato mashed with parsley and a sprinkling of parmesan or on a bed of polenta. Shower the lot with that mixture of grated lemon peel, parsley and garlic known to the Italians as gremolata.

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