I love this. One time I substituted lamb shanks for the veal, and it was just as good.

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 4

Preparation time:
Cooking time:


½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
4 veal shanks, tied to secure meat to bone
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped high-quality bacon
6-8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 whole sweet onion
2 large carrots diced
3 stalks of celery cut into medium dice
2 leeks (white part only), well washed and chopped
2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped (optional)
2 plum tomatoes crushed
½ lemon zest only
1 dried bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh sage leaves
3 springs fresh flat-leaf parsley (Italian parsley)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ cup dry white wine
½ cup cognac
4 cups broth (chicken, veal, mushroom, or vegetable)


Preheat over to 425°. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper and lightly dust shanks with mixture. Use a large ovenproof pan over medium-high heat, and when it is hot, add the oil. Then add the shanks and cook until they are deeply golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook until they are deeply golden on the bottom, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the shanks to a plate. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until it starts to render its fat, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, leeks, mushrooms, fennel bulb, tomatoes, lemon zest, dried bay leaf, fresh thyme, sage, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary, and fennel seeds and cook for about 10 minutes. Return the shanks to the pan and add the wine and cognac and broth. Be sure to cover the shanks with the herb mixture. Cover pan and transfer to the oven. Cook at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and continue cooking for another 1 hour and 40 minutes. Serve over risotto or basmatic rice. Also serve a loaf of crusty French bread for dipping.


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