Braised veal shanks with moroccan spices

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
6 Veal shanks (abt 3 3/4 lb total)
¼ cup Moroccan Spice Rub
12 Garlic clove(s), skin on
4 tablespoons Olive oil
3 tablespoons Butter
2 larges Onion(s), chopped
2 larges Carrots, chopped
3 larges Celery ribs, chopped
1 cup White wine
1 3" piece lemon zest
1 tablespoon Ground cumin
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tablespoon Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Ground coriander
1 teaspoon Cayenne pith removed
1 large Bouquet garni (2 bay leaves and 2 large sprigs each thyme, rosemary, and parsley)
5 cups Chicken, veal or beef stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon Ground cloves
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
3 tablespoons Chopped garlic
¼ cup Olive oil

MOROCCAN SPICE RUB

Moroccan Spice Rub: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend, scraping the sides occasionally, until you have a paste.

Veal Shanks: Smear the shanks with the spice rub, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Meanwhile, toss the unpeeled garlic cloves with 1 tbs of the olive oil and loosely wrap them in aluminum foil. Roast in a 400øF oven until the cloves are soft, 50-60 minutes. Set aside; refrigerate if more than 4 hours before braising.

Adjust the oven to 325øF. Scrape excess marinade from the shanks.

Brown the meat and vegetables: Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the shanks and set aside. Add the butter and when it starts to foam, add the onion, carrots, and celery, and saut‚ for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low and continue saut‚ing until the vegetables are soft, golden brown, and caramelized, 25-30 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, pour in a splash of white wine to deglaze. When the vegetables are ready, add the remaining wine, scraping up any browned bits, and reduce over high heat until the pan is nearly dry.

Simmer all the ingredients: Put the shanks back in the pan. Add the zest, bouquet garni, stock, and garlic cloves. The liquid should cover two-thirds of the meat; add more if needed. Bring to a simmer.

Skim off any visible fat.

Cover the dish tightly and put it in the oven. After an hour, degrease the sauce again and baste the shanks with the liquid. Cover again and cook for another 45 minutes. Remove the cover and turn the shanks over. After another 15 minutes, turn the shanks again and check for doneness. Repeat every 15 minutes until the shanks are fork-tender.

If you're making the dish ahead, refrigerate the cooking liquid and shanks separately. When you're ready to reheat the shanks, remove the fat from the liquid (it will have solidified into one piece) and discard it. Put the shanks and cooking liquid in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and reheat in a 400øF oven for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the shanks from the liquid and keep warm.

Finish the sauce: Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, pressing all liquid from the vegetables. Spoon off any grease from the liquid. You should have at least 2« cups of liquid.

Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce it to about 1« cups. Check the viscosity of the sauce as you go; if it coats the back of a spoon, it's ready. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

Serve on a bed of something to soak up the meat's delicious sauce; couscous, mashed potatoes, rice, or tiny pasta.

Serve with simple saut‚ed greens, garnished with oven-dried tomatoes.

Fine Cooking October-November 1995 Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 09-29-95

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