Food & Drink

Braised Veal Shanks with Currants & Chestnut & Potato Mash


Long-cooked braises are perfect for entertaini­ng. The meat can be refrigerat­ed in the braising liquid once tender, reheated in short order, and finished before anyone realizes you’ve left the table. There’s no chance of dry meat, and the delicious liquid is easily transforme­d into a velvety sauce.

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, plus extra as required 6 oz (170 g), about 5 slices, thick-cut bacon, diced

6 cross-cut veal shanks, each 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, about 11 oz (310 g) each

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 cups (500 mL) red wine, preferably Pinot Noir 1 cup (250 mL) veal or chicken stock

1 cup (250 mL) dried currants, divided

4-inch (10-cm) cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp (30 mL) water

2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped parsley

1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated horseradis­h

1 Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).

2 Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add bacon and fry for 5 to 6 minutes or until just beginning to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Drain off all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat and return to heat.

3 Season shanks generously with salt and pepper. Brown (in batches if necessary) 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add onions to pot and cook until translucen­t, about 5 minutes. Pour wine over and stir to scrape up any brown bits. Add stock, 1/2 cup (125 mL) currants, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and reserved bacon; tuck veal pieces into liquid overlappin­g slightly as necessary. Bring to a boil.

4 Cut a piece of parchment about the size and shape of the pot opening; loosely cover shanks and liquid, place lid overtop and cook in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork-tender. (Veal may be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerat­ed for up to 3 days. Defat braising liquid while cold; simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes before proceeding.)

5 Remove veal to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Pass the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and return liquid to pot. Add remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) currants and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let boil for 5 minutes to plump currants.

6 Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk into braising liquid and cook until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Spoon sauce and currants over veal. Combine parsley and horseradis­h; sprinkle overtop. Serve with Chestnut & Potato Mash (recipe this page).

Serves 6

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