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cucina amore by Nick Stellino


  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pepper
  • 6 10 oz (280 grm). veal shanks, 1-1/2 - 2 inches thick
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (225 ml) white wine
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 oz (112 grm). shitake or white button mushrooms, diced
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups (475 ml) tomato sauce (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) beef or chicken stock (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces.
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) finely chopped onion
  • 2 28 oz (784 grm). cans peeled Italian tomatoes--IMPORTANT - USE ITALIAN TOMATOES.
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Chicken stock:
  • 1 3 lb (1.4 kg). whole chicken, without liver
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 2-in pieces
  • 2 white onions, quartered
  • 1 small fresh rosemary branch, about 4 in., or 1/2 t dried
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 10 leaves fresh basil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 t dried
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) whole black peppercorns
  • 2 eggs, beaten well, with their shells
  • 1 cup (225 ml) white wine
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
  • 3-1/4 quarts (3075 ml) water
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (200 C.).
  • Salt and pepper veal shanks and dust with flour, shaking well to remove the excess.
  • Heat 3 tbsp (45 ml) oil in large saute pan set on high heat until sizzling.
  • Add veal shanks and cook for 2 min. on each side until well browned.
  • Transfer shanks to 9 x 13 inch ovenproof casserole.
  • Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup (125 ml) wine, stirring well with a wooden spoon to dislodge any brown bits from bottom.
  • Cook until wine is reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes, and pour over meat in casserole.
  • Wipe saute pan clean with a paper towel.
  • Heat remaining 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil in pan over high heat for 2 minutes until sizzling.
  • Add carrot, onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic, cloves and bay leaves, cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Raise heat to med.-high and deglaze pan with remaining 1/2 cup (125 ml) wine, cooking until wine is reduced by half, stirring well.
  • Add tomato sauce, stock and porcini mushrooms and bring to boil, stirring well.
  • Pour over meat in casserole.
  • Cover the casserole loosely with heavy duty foil.
  • Put in preheated oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees (175 C.) and cook for 1-1/2 hrs.
  • Remove the foil and cook 1 hour more, turning the meat once.
  • Test meat for doneness.
  • If you're using 2 inch thick pieces add 10 more minutes.
  • The sauce should be very rich and tasty.
  • Adjust salt to your taste.
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • Pour oil into 3 qt. pot set on med-high heat and cook garlic and onion for 3 min.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and cook until onions are soft and start to brown, about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • While onions are cooking, put tomatoes and their juice in blender and puree until smooth.
  • Add puree to onion mixture, raise the heat to high and boil for 5-8 minutes.
  • Reduce heat, add basil and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Chicken Stock:
  • Place all ingredients in large stockpot and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, with cover slightly ajar, for 2 hrs.
  • Skim any foam that rises to top every 30 min.
  • Remove chicken.
  • Strain stock through fine sieve lined with cheesecloth.
  • Once stock comes to room temp. place in refrigerator overnight.
  • All fat will rise to top, harden and become solid white.
  • Skim it off and discard.
  • Stock will keep up to 4 days in 'fridge and for 1 month frozen.
Serve this dish with garlic mashed potatoes, or risotto with saffron.

Suggested that meat be tied with kitchen twine to help keep its shape while braising in the oven.

You will achieve a smoother sauce by processing the raw carrots, onions and celery in the food processor for about 1 minute.

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