Spicy veal shanks


This is essentially a spicy version of osso buco, with slight smokiness from canned chipotle chilies in adobo. It can be made up to two days ahead. Skim the fat from the top before reheating.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 3 hours

Serves: 4



2 11/2 inch veal shanks (500 g) 

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes and juice

2 cups chicken or veal stock

1 bay leaf

2 parsley stalks

1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chili

1 teaspoon adobo sauce 



Preheat oven to 300 F.

Season veal shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy, ovenproof pot over high heat. Add shanks and brown well on each side, about 2 minutes. Remove shanks to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and saute until softened, about 2 minuets.

Pour in wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pot. Stir in tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, parsley, stalks, chipotle and adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Return shanks to a pot in a single layer. Liquid should come up three-quarters of the way up the shanks; add more stock if needed. Cover and bake for 2 hours or until shanks are fork tender.

Uncover and continue cooking for 20 more minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.

Remove shanks from liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside, and discard the bay leaf and parsley stalks. If sauce is too thin, bring to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes over medium-high heat.



Normally, osso buco loves barolo and barbaresco, two robust reds from Piedmont. But given the inspired chipotle twist, I'd suggest something with more supple, rounded fruit, such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape or even a jammy-peppery California zinfandel. -Beppi Crosairol