six to eight 2 inch thick veal shanks (5 pounds total), each tied securely with kitchen string to keep meat attached to bones

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-1/2 pounds onion, sliced thin

2 celery ribs, sliced thin

½ pound fresh cremini mushrooms, stem ends trimmed

½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded

½ pound fresh Porto Bello mushrooms, stems discarded

¾ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

½ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ to ¼ cup water

1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste

¼ cup fresh parsley leaved, washed, spun dry and minced

egg noodles to accompany



1. Preheat oven to 275*.

2. In a heavy ovenproof kettle large enough to hold veal shanks in one layer, heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter over moderately high heat until foam begins to subside. Saute onions and celery until vegetables begin to turn golden.

3. Pat shanks dry between paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Arrange shanks on onion mixture and roast, covered tightly, in middle of oven for 3 hours. (Meat will give off juices as it cooks.) Shanks may be prepared up to this point and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Reheat shanks before proceeding.

4. Cut mushrooms into ¼ inch thick slices. In a large skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons each oil and butter over moderately high heat until foam begins to subside and saute mushrooms with thyme and salt and pepper to taste, stirring, until mushrooms begin to give off their liquid. Stir in vermouth or wine and lemon juice and cook, stirring, until all but about ½ cup of liquid is evaporated. Mushrooms may be made 1 day ahead and cooled, uncovered, before being chilled, covered.

5. Transfer shanks to a platter and keep warm. Transfer onions, celery and pan juices to a blender with ½ cup water and puree until smooth, adding more water if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Pour sauce into a saucepan and stir in mushroom mixture, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Heat sauce over moderate heat until heated through and stir in parsley.

5. Arrange shanks over noodles and spoon sauce over them.


from The Best of Gourmet, 1997

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