Osso Buco

The marrow in the veal shanks mixed with lush Amarone wine creates a rich and delicious sauce that you will want to eat again and again. Osso buco is a dish that you set time aside for. It takes a bit of work to prepare, but your efforts are well worth it. The meat falls off the bone and the sauce is full of complex flavor.

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6 to 8 veal shanks
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup chopped leek
2 carrots, chopped
1 bottle Amarone wine
1 cup flour
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon juniper berries
2 cups prepared tomato sauce*
1 cup beef stock
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Pat dry the veal shanks with paper towels and tie them with kitchen string (this will ensure the meat does not fall apart while cooking.) Season the dried veal shanks with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Set them aside.

Melt the butter with the oil in a large dutch oven. Brown half of the shanks (do not overcrowd them) over high heat on all sides. Once browned, remove them from the pot. Add the chopped shallots, leek, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook the vegetables until translucent (about 5 minutes), scraping the bottom to pick up any brown bits from the meat. Add the garlic, thyme, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Place the shanks back into the dutch oven and add the bottle of wine. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the wine reduces by half (approximately 20 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Once the wine has reduced, add the stock and the sauce. (*Alternatively, use 1 28-oz can of chopped plum tomatoes.) Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. While you are waiting for the liquid to boil, preheat your oven to 350°F. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook covered for 2 hours.

Before serving, remove the string from the shanks. Serve with mashed potatoes, using the sauce as a gravy for the meat and the mashed potatoes.

Serves 6 to 8.

(Note: You can use a less expensive wine like a Valpolicella, but the flavor with the Amarone is unparalleled.)

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