Oh Happy Day, Osso Buco

Oh happy day, it's Friday!  Maggie's school choir was performing at Figgy Pudding downtown tonight, our friend Marcel was coming to town for a visit, and I needed a good do ahead meal.  Maggie loves a good ossoo buco, but then again, we all do.  So, let's hunker down and enjoy some braised meat!

I was able to make this earlier in the day and reheat it once we got home from Figgy Pudding.  
5 Cross cut veal shanks, about 5 lbs

2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1.5 cups finely chopped carrots
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 dried bay leaves
several sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
several sprigs of fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh sage 
1.5 cups red wine
1/4 cup brandy
1.5 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
4 plum tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper the veal shank and coat with flour, shaking off any excess.  Brown all sides of the shank in a large dutch oven with a few tablespoons of canola oil, adding more if needed.  Remove the shank and all but 1 tbsp of oil.  Tie together the thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley to make a bouquet garni.  Brown the mirepoix of chopped carrots, celery, and onion.  Then add in the garlic and bay leaf along with the bouquet garni.  Deglaze pan with wine, the brandy, followed by the chicken and beef stocks and then the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then  return the veal shanks to the pot.  Bring back to a simmer, cover and let simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the size of the shanks.  Check on them from time to time and turn or rotate them gently.  

Once veal shanks are tender, remove them from the pot onto a clean pan and cover with foil.  You don't want them sitting out, uncovered, as they will become dry on the outside.  Strain the liquid from the pot using a fine mesh sieve pressing on the solids to get all the flavorful juices from them.  Return the strained sauce to the pot and reduce the sauce a bit by letting it boil rapidly over medium high heat.  Adjust seasoning, salt and pepper as needed.  Return the shanks to the pot to reheat them.  For tonight, I just turned the heat off, placed the veal back in the sauce, and ladled the sauce over top before covering the pot.  Then when we returned home and were ready to eat, I reheated the veal to serve.  Braised meat... fabulous!


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