This post has been updated for content since it’s original publication in 2016.
Looking for an easy, spectacular veal shank recipe? These hearty braised veal shanks are fall off the bone tender, meaty and delicious. Loaded with garlic, red wine and vegetables, serve this rich veal stew recipe over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles. Cross cut veal shanks feature a special prize — the most unctuous, delectable bone marrow tucked into each shank. Meat eaters rejoice.
Braised veal shanks or veal stew?
My veal shank recipe is a cross between a stew and a braise.
It’s like a veal shank stew because it’s loaded with mushrooms, onions and carrots to eat like a full meal.
However, the cross cut veal shanks are kept whole instead of being cut into cubes. Rather than swimming in sauce, they’re gently braised.
Ingredients for veal shank recipe
- Veal Shanks
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Beef Broth
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine
This veal stew recipe uses two whole heads of garlic, which seems like a lot, I know. Don’t worry, the garlic is sweet and nutty, not biting and harsh, because we blanch it first.
How to blanch garlic for braised veal shanks
- Break apart the heads of garlic so the individual cloves are loose. Don’t worry about peeling them yet.
- Add the cloves to a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
- Drain and peel the cloves. (It’s easier to peel the papery skin from the garlic after it’s been blanched.)
Note: Several sources I’ve found will have you blanching garlic 3 times before using. It’s not necessary for this veal shank recipe because the garlic will also be braised for 2 hours, further softening the alliums.
How to make braised veal shanks
- Pat the veal shanks dry with a paper towel and season them.
- Sear the veal shanks in a heavy pot or dutch oven until browned on each side. Transfer veal to another plate.
- Sauté the vegetables until just tender.
- Brown the blanched garlic in the pot.
- Sauté the mushrooms until browned.
- Stir in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the fond (crispy, browned bits at the bottom) and simmer for one minute.
- Add the tomato paste and beef broth and stir well to combine.
- Add the vegetables, mushrooms, garlic and veal shanks back to the pot.
- Tuck the bouquet garni into the liquid.
- Bring the heat just to the boiling point, then cover tightly with the lid and braise the veal stew in a 300° oven for 2 hours.
Special Terms & Techniques:
Braising refers to a combination of dry and moist cooking that’s frequently used with tougher cuts of meat. First the meat is seared in a hot pan and then simmered in a covered heavy pot or dutch oven with just enough liquid to nestle the meat in without covering it completely. Braising breaks down the tougher connective tissues that would normally be inedible and marries the flavors.
Bouquet Garni is simply an herb bundle that’s tied with kitchen string and added to soups, stews and braises to impart the herbs flavor. Remove the bouquet garni before serving.
The beauty of oven braising
I love oven braising meats and stews like this veal shank recipe because once the ingredients are assembled, its HANDS OFF. Once the pot goes into the oven, you don’t have to tend, stir or even lift the lid to check on it. Just let it cook.
The whole house will be permeated with rich, savory aromas that will make your stomach rumble in hungry anticipation.
Yes. In fact, it’s even better the next day.
There are two ways.
1. The first is to dip a tablespoon flat into a puddle of oil and let it fill the spoon. Discard the grease and repeat until most of it is gone.
2. Let the braise come to room temperature then refrigerate until the fats solidify. Then remove the excess fat and discard.
Yes. Store the veal shanks in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
What to serve with braised veal shanks
- Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Cheese Grits
- Buttered Noodles
- Creamy Polenta
Garlic Wine Braised Veal Shanks
- 2 heads garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium onion peeled, halved and thinly sliced vertically.
- 3 carrots peeled
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 pounds veal shanks about 4 shanks, with bones
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
- 2 rosemary sprigs fresh
- 4 thyme sprigs fresh
- 3 oregano sprigs fresh
- 1 cup beef broth or veal broth
- 1 cup red wine dry, I used a Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Break apart the garlic cloves and add them to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the garlic and peel the cloves, discarding the skins.
- Set the garlic aside.
- Tie the herbs in a tight bundle using kitchen string and set aside.
- Pat the veal dry and sprinkle both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Carefully add the veal and brown for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning with a pair of kitchen tongs. Transfer the veal to a large plate or platter.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the dutch oven and saute the carrots, celery and onion for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Transfer the vegetables to a small bowl. If the pan is dry, add a little more olive oil to it and add the garlic. Cook the garlic for 3-4 minutes, or until it starts to take on some color. Transfer the garlic to the bowl of vegetables. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle with a 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir the mushrooms and fit the lid on tightly. Cook mushrooms for 1-2 minutes until they give up their liquid and begin to brown. Transfer the mushrooms to the vegetable bowl.
- Add the wine to the pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the fond. Simmer for one minute, then add the broth and tomato paste, stirring until the tomato paste is evenly incorporated into the sauce.
- Add the vegetables and the herbs to the pot. Transfer the veal shanks to the pot, arranging them snugly into the broth with the vegetables. Add any accumulated juices from the plate. Cover and bring just to the boiling point, then transfer the covered pot to the oven and braise for 2 hours or until the shanks are tender.