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Osso Buco Alla Milanese

4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
6 portions of veal shank (about 6 pounds total), see note
1/4 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes (canned Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped, may be substituted)
1 1/4 cups well-flavored veal, beef or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Gremolata (recipe follows)


Melt the oil in a heavy casserole large enough to hold the veal in a single layer. Dust shank pieces with flour and lightly brown on all sides over medium heat. You may find the browning easier if you do not put all the shanks in the pan at once. Do not allow them to become dark or blackened. Remove the shanks from the casserole and lower heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To the casserole, add onions, carrots and celery and saute, stirring until they begin to soften. Add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add wine and cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan until all the brown bits clinging to it have dissolved. Stir in the tomatoes, stock and thyme. Return the shanks to the casserole, basting with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, cover and bake in the preheated oven about one and one-half hours until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Baste the shanks several times during baking. Remove shanks to a serving dish and keep warm. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary. If the sauce is too thin (it should be about the consistency of cream), place the pan on top of the stove and boil down the sauce for several minutes. Pour sauce over the shanks and top with a little of the gremolata. Pass the rest on the side.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com