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Aug 17, 2007 07:48 PM

Veal shank in this heat- ideas

My father turns 85 Sunday and veal shank is his favorite cut of meat. He was a butcher since apprenticeship at age 12 so he knows his meat. It is really hot here and I was playing with layering cross-cut veal shank (osso bucco cut) with sliced onion and really good paprika in the crock pot but I have only ever done it dredged in flour, browned in oil and then braised. Thoughts?

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  1. Consider sticking to the traditional mirepoix ... ... or even the trinity. Cook the veal in the crockpot and you won't feel the heat. Good idea. I'd do a quick sear on the meat first though, but that's just me. : )

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      Thanks- I guess in my mind I was trying to avoid the browning step and wondering if that will work because truth be told- after the minimal mirepoix saute, I have a back burner that I routinely leave stuff on all day (yes I leave the house) because it is so low and so steady (like a crockpot heat but I leave the lid crooked so I get some reduction).

    2. Regardless of the particular recipe, what you want is a pressure cooker not a crock pot; that is the best way to minimize the heat produced in your kitchen. You will get the same results using a pressure cooker at minimum heat for 45 minutes as you would running a crock pot on low for 3 hours. If you have a pressure cooker you know how to use it. If you don't, it's not worth buying one just for this one dinner. Now, if you could borrow one... come back and we'll talk.

      1 Reply
      1. re: inuksuk

        No pressure cooker or friends with one, but this keeps coming up as a cookery method I need to explore. Thanks for the idea.

      2. torty-
        definitely use a slow cooker (crock pot)...cut up veggies for a mirepoix, just add them without cooking...don't sear the meat, the color will be fine after cooking...cut an orange in half, squeeze in the juice and toss the orange in as is...add a bunch of your favorite osso bucco herbs (fresh and roughly chopped) and plenty of fresh smushed garlic...very quick and delicious...adjust the sauce to taste after taking the veal out


        1 Reply
        1. re: kleinfortlee

          Kleinfortlee- I ended up pretty much following your suggestion. Bottom layer of thin sliced onion and minced garlic, then shanks seasoned with S & P and rolled in a mix of smoked and sweet Hungarian paprika, then thin sliced onion and garlic again. Did the orange as suggested, and poured a little thinned tomato paste on top, and squished fresh basil sprigs all around. I let them get fall apart tender. I did reduce the sauce a little and adjust seasoning after they were done. The texture was perfectly luxurious and the sauce was perfect over egg noodles (has cholesterol issues so I had to nix spaetzle and do "no-yolk" egg noodles) He was very pleased, has leftovers for tomorrow and wanted me to give his wife the recipe which I pretended not to hear because the local upscale grocery which had a beautiful product charged $21/lb! I have to agree with other posters that not browning the meat made it a little flat, but as I said the texture was superb, and I snuck in a little mushroom powder when I reduced the sauce so it gave the sauce some more depth . Worst part was paying $1.59 for an orange (in Southern California!) because all my neighbors with trees were on vacation and the trees in locked yards. A tree picked orange would have had better "orange-ness". Thank you all for your help.

        2. I hate to say, but I think browning is essential. The Maillard reaction imparts the great crust and taste, and of course the deglazing gets all those good brown bits! Good luck with the recipe and please let us know how your Dad enjoyed it. Congratulations to him!

          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            I second monavano on the browning question. Your liqueur will not have the depth of flavour if you just toss it all into a crock pot. Suffer for your art, and brown the meat properly.

            Some years ago, I braised on a gas barbeque (electrical failure). Start in your pot, or deep pan, on the stove top making your osso buco as you would normally, while your barbeque is preheating. Once you have it at 325F, transfer the pot to the barbeque, and slam the lid down so that all the heat doesn't escape. (NOTE: make sure that the vessel fits into the barbeque.) This method requires (a) a thick-bottom vessel (b) attention to make sure that your osso buco isn't burning on the bottom or cooking too quickly. I was a bit stressed out, but it urned out pretty well.

            Given the heat, I think gremolata on top as you serve is a good idea to lighten the flavour.