by: Max M Rasmussen

Braised Veal Shank

Veal shank is the same piece of meat that is used for Osso Buco, but a slow braising with a sweet port wine and a good stock puts that meat into a completely different class. It is also a dish that practically cannot fail. If you like meat that is so tender that it falls apart when eating, and has a dark strong beef flavor. Then this is just the ticket. The long list of ingredients can look somewhat daunting, but the basic principle is to just brown the meat and the vegetables, and then braise / let it simmer it in some wine.


  • 4 thick slices of veal shank at about 350 g (12 oz) each (osso buco)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp flour or fine rice flour
  • 2 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • bouquet garni - 1 bunch parsley, 4-5 bay leaves, 1 bunch thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 liter of red wine
  • 1/4 liter Port or Madeira
  • 1/4 liter of dark chicken stock
  • 250 g (9 oz) mushrooms


Season the shank meat. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and turn it over the flour.

Fry in the oil until golden, and then remove them from the pot.

Slice the vegetables coarsely and brown them in the pan.

Add in the tomato puree, and let it roast a bit.

Add the balsamic vinegar and let it reduce completely. Scrape bottoms of the pan so that it does not burn. Caramelize the vegetables and tomato paste to give it a dark rich flavor.

Repeat this process a few times with the stock.

Add the meat back into the pan.

Add the red and port wine and the bouquet garni.

Roast in the oven with the lid on, at 140°C  (285°F) for 3-4 hours, until tender.

Use the liquid from the bottom of the pan to pour over the meat occasionally, so it does not dry out.

When the meat is tender the gravy has to be finished.

Clean the mushrooms, chop them coarsely and fry them in oil.

Remove the shanks from the sauce and put them aside.

Strain the sauce and remove the fat at the top.

Pour it over the mushrooms and bring it to a boil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add back the shank meat.

Serve in a large pot or plate it and pour over some sauce.