Braised Veal Shanks with Porcini Mushrooms
8 – 10 veal shank cuts, 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour, spread on a sheet pan, for dredging
4 – 6 tablespoons oil, as needed for searing the meat
1 cup dry Marsala wine (preferably imported from Italy)
2 cups crushed tomatoes
6 cups veal stock
2 carrots, diced
3 – 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 3 cups lukewarm water for 20 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
After the porcini have soaked, strain them, reserving the water. Rinse the porcini and chop coarsely. Strain the soaking water through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove any grit; reserve 2 cups liquid.
Season the veal shanks on both sides with salt and black pepper. Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat olive oil over high heat and sear the veal on all sides, in batches. Hold in a warm pan.
Degrease the pan, then deglaze with the Marsala. Add the carrots and celery, and reduce the liquid by 3/4. Add the porcini and stir to combine.
Add the porcini soaking water, the tomatoes, the veal stock, and stir thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the meat to the pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and braise the meat for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender and almost falling off the bone.
Prepare the gremolada and set aside.
Remove meat to a hotel pan and keep warm in a 250°F oven. Over high heat, reduce the sauce as necessary for proper thickness and flavor, stirring constantly to avoid burning, adjusting seasonings if necessary as well.
Serve one veal shank per portion, draped with sauce and sprinkled with gremolada seasoning, and with risotto alla Milanese on the side. Yield: 8 – 10 portions.
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 2 lemons, finely minced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Combine all ingredients.