“Tender veal shanks get great depth of flavor from lecso, a kind of Hungarian sofrito of sautéed onions, frying peppers and tomatoes, to which paprika and, in this case, stock, are added. Finished with sour cream, the sauce yields more than you need, but you’ll be happy to have leftovers to serve over noodles, chicken or pork.” Gourmet Magazine

2 large onions, chopped (3 cups)

1 pound Cubanelle peppers (Italian green frying peppers, 4 large) coarsely chopped

¾ cup vegetable oil

2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California

one 14 to 15 ounce can plum tomatoes in juice

2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian or regular paprika (not hot)

3-½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth (28 fluid ounces)

8 meaty, cross-cut veal shanks (ossobuco; 7 to 7-½ pounds total), tied

2 cups dry white wine

one 16 ounce container sour cream

1-½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

galuskas, tiny dumplings with dill, to accompany



1. Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners, then cook onions and peppers in ¼ cup oil with bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking them up with a spoon, and cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle paprika over tomato mixture and stir just to combine, then immediately stir in broth. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.

3. Pat shanks dry with paper towels and season all over with 2 teaspoons salt. Heat ¼ cup oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over high heat until it shimmers, then add 4 shanks and brown, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Add shanks to the tomato mixture in roasting pan. Pour off fat from skillet and wipe clean. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil and brown remaining 4 shanks in the same manner, transferring to roasting pan. Pour off fat from skillet, then add wine to skillet and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into roasting pan. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly with heavy-duty foil and braise in oven until very tender, 2 to 2-½ hours, depending on size.

4. Transfer shanks with a slotted spoon to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Skim off any fat from braising liquid.

5. Whisk together sour cream and flour in a medium bowl. Whisk about 1 cup of hot braising liquid into sour cream mixture, then add mixture to remaining braising liquid in roasting pan and simmer, straddled across 2 burners, over low heat, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

6. Return shanks to sauce along with any meat juices from platter, and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

NOTE: Veal shanks, without sour cream mixture, can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled in braising liquid, covered once cool. To reheat, remove solid fat from surface, then set roasting pan with shanks and liquid, covered with foil, over low heat. Simmer, turning over once, until shanks are heated through, about 15 minutes, then remove shanks and proceed with recipe.


from Paul Grimes, Gourmet Magazine, February, 2009

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