A Milanese specialty that is always enjoyed in our household any time of the year, “bone with a hole” as it is literally translated is basically veal shanks braised in white wine, broth, carrots, tomatoes and onions. An older version skips the tomatoes but adds cinnamon instead. Either way, this flavorful dish goes great with risotto or just plain rice. When serving do not forget the gremolata, a combination of grated lemon zest and chopped parsley, sprinkled over the dish.
Here is the recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis at Food Network.
- boquet garni (1 sprig each of fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, 1 dry bay leaf, 2 whole cloves wrapped in cheesecloth and tied)
- 3 whole veal shanks (about 1 pound per shank), trimmed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- All purpose flour, for dredging
- 1/2 cup olive oil (Giada used vegetable oil) or bacon fat if you have it
- 1 small onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small carrot, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 stalk celery, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Pat dry veal shanks with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Veal shanks will brown better when they are dry. Season each shank with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge the shanks in flour, shaking off excess.
- In a large Dutch oven pot, heat oil until smoking. Add tied veal shanks and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove browned shanks and reserve.
- In the same pot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt at this point to help draw out the moisture from the vegetables. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and mix well. Return browned shanks to the pan and add the white wine and reduce liquid by half, about 5 minutes. Add the bouquet garni and 2 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Check every 15 minutes, turning shanks and adding more chicken stock as necessary. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the shank. Discard bouquet garni from the pot.
- Serve over risotto or steamed rice, pour all the juices and sauce over the shanks. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon zest.