Be sure to cook the shanks long enough — the meat should be falling off the bone, and the internal temperature should reach at least 200°F (95°C). This dish can be made earlier in the day and then reheated on top of the stove over low heat (about 15 minutes). If you refrigerate this dish before reheating, any fat will solidify and come to the surface, where it is easy to remove. I like to serve this dish with polenta.—Christopher Kimball
4 small to medium veal shanks, 2-inch-thick center-cut pieces (2 1/2-3 pounds total)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
6 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 garlic head, cut in half and excess paper removed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
2. Tie a string around the circumference of each shank (or have the butcher do it for you). Season shanks with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a 12-inch-wide Dutch oven or saute pan with a lid over medium-high heat. When the butter-oil mixture is very hot but not smoking, lightly flour the seasoned shanks and then add them to the pot. Saute for 4 minutes per side, shaking the pan occasionally to stop the shanks from sticking. The shanks should be golden brown on each side.
4. Remove the shanks from the pot and reserve on a plate. Add the onion and anchovies to the pot, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, wine, chicken stock, tomatoes, and 3/4 cup of the olives along with the veal shanks and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and place in the oven.
5. Cook for 2 to 4 hours or until the meat falls off the bone and is very tender. Remove the garlic head and squeeze out the contents, adding the cooked garlic back to the liquid. (Cooking time will depend on the size of the shanks, your oven, and your pot. You can make the recipe to this point, refrigerate, and reheat later for serving.)
6. Place the pot on the stove and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the sage and the remaining 1/4 cup olives. Cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Transfer one shank to each plate and spoon the sauce over the shanks.
Recipe © 2003 Christopher Kimball. All rights reserved.