Beer-braised Veal Shanks and Root Vegetables

Osse buco is a gratifying and filling winter dish that is both inexpensive and delicious. It is easy to serve for quests and it can even be  made the day before. You’ll need a saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold the veal shanks. If you don’t have one, the roasting pan in your oven works just fine. You don’t need to have a lid. A piece of parchment paper is just fine. Even better, because if you use a lid, the steam that is released from the food recirculates into the sauce or braising liquid, and dilutes it. This way, the ingredients in the roasting pan don’t lose some of their moisture while cooking. The parchment paper also helps to hold together the ingredients so there is less damage to a fragile piece of meat or vegetables.

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Beer-Braised Veal Shanks and Root Vegetables     6 main course servings

6 (1 pound) veal shanks, each cut into 1½ inch-to 2 inch-thick pieces, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil, 1 tbsp. butter, 1½ dark beer, 1 lemon, cut into wedges, 1 bulb garlic, halved crosswise, a sprig of thyme, 4 cups chicken stock, 1½ root vegetables such as carrots, celery root, parsnips

Garnish: 4 stalks of celery with leaves

To make the veal shanks, preheat oven to 350°F. Season shanks with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour. In a large sauté  pan or skillet, brown meat in oil and butter. Add beer and bring to a boil. Transfer shanks to ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven just large enough to hold shanks in one layer. Place lemon, garlic and fresh thyme in pan and pour just enough bouillon to cover meat. Cut a circle of parchment that fits just inside pan and with a 1 inch hole in the center. Place paper over shanks to cover and braise in the oven 2½-3 hours or until meat is very tender.

To serve, place meat on a warmed shallow plate, spoon vegetables and sauce over shanks. Garnish with a celery stalk.

Suggested accompaniment: mashed potatoes

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