It snowed again today. I had it in my head that I would make veal ragu for dinner tonight. We came back from Miami a day early so I had time to watch the pot boil. This is seriously decadent, rich and delicious. Original recipe, although tweaked by me, from Food and Wine.
Veal Shanks - I used 6 but 4 is ample as they are ridiculously expensive
salt and pepper
3 carrots, chopped
6 celery ribs chopped
2 spanish onions chopped
2 cups red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 - 28 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes including the liquid
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 sprig rosemary
In a dutch oven ( Le Cruset, of course ) cover the bottom with olive oil. Take the veal shanks and season them with salt and pepper and then dredge them in flour. Once the oil is hot, put the shanks in and really brown them on each side. 5 minutes per side. Then take out the shanks.
Add in the carrots, celery and onions. Saute at a medium high heat until the mixture gets soft. About 5 minutes or more.
Now add in the wine and balsamic vinegar. Mix. Crank it up to high and let this boil down for about 15 minutes. The sauce will get thick.
Add in the tomatoes, beef stock and rosemary. Mix it up really well and then put the veal shanks back in. I tossed in a little salt too. Heat up before putting this down to low.
Almost cover pot, let it breath a little bit. Let this hang out for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. The meat should be falling off the bone and shredding.
Take out the shanks, set aside. Now use a really good strainer and pour the sauce into it with a bowl underneath. It took me 3 times until I got all the sauce strained because the strainer was not that big. I pushed down on the veggies and got as much juice out as possible. At the end, you will have a bowl of cooked veggies and another one of juice.
I took the juice and put it back in the pot that it came from and let it boil down for about 5 more minutes. The veggies, I put them in a tupperware for later use. I'm thinking scooped out baguettes filled with the veggie mix ( warmed up ) with a cheese melted over it for lunch this weekend.
Once the shanks have semi-cooled, cut them up into small pieces and put back into the pot with the liquid.