Chef Piccolino's
Veal Shanks Provençal
Serves 4-6

(Qty 6) 1 lb Veal Shank Cutlets (or)
(Qty 6) Small New Zealand Lamb Shanks (or)
(Qty 4) Large American Lamb Shanks

Approx 4 Cups Mirepoix:
1½ Large Onions (about 2-3 cups chopped)
1 Cup Celery (½ a 1 lb bag)
1 Cup Baby Carrots (½ a 1 lb bag)
Add 2 Heads Garlic (½ Cup Peeled Cloves)

2 Tbsp Dry Thyme or 1 Oz. Fresh Thyme (preferred)
8 Tbsp (about 2 Oz.) Whole Peppercorns
4 Bay Leafs

1 lb Sliced Mushrooms
1 Oz. or so Fresh Basil (julienned for garnish)
2 Cups Frozen Peas (for garnish)
8 Oz. Finely Diced Prosciutto (for garnish)

1 Bottle (750ml) Good Red Wine
½ Bottle (750ml) Marsala Wine*
4 Qts Brown Veal Stock**
Canola Oil (or similar)

1. Make 1 lb or so of mirepoix by finely chopping the onion, celery, and carrots in a food processor, then add finely chopped garlic to the mirepoix mixture. Set aside.

2. Place enough oil in the bottom of a large Dutch oven such as a heavy Le Creuset pot to thickly coat the bottom. Sear the veal shanks until well browned all around. Remove shanks and reserve.

3. Deglaze the pot with the mirepoix, thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and basil stems. After the mirepoix is well caramelized, add both wines and reduce by half.

4. Add veal stock and completely submerge the shanks into the liquid along with any leftover veal bones (if any). Braise uncovered in the oven at 225 degrees for 4 hours or until fork tender.***

5. Remove shanks and strain stock through a strainer and then press through a chinoise or similar tool. The objective is to get a pure liquid with all the flavors removed from the solids. Reduce the liquid to about 1 quart... this is where the sauce begins to get really good! Add mushroom slices and cook for another 30-45 minutes.

When ready to serve, place the veal shanks into the stock and mushroom mixture and reheat. Trim the fat off of the prosciutto, then finely chop it and sear in a pan with a touch of the reduced stock. Warm the peas. Place some of the stock in a serving bowl, add a veal shank, then garnish with prosciutto, peas, and julienned fresh basil. Serve with a nice spicy Zinfandel wine or other hearty red. :-)

* I usually use "Colombo Fine V.Q.P.R.D Dry Marsala" from Sicily.
** Veal stock is hard to find (and make), so I use "Kitchen Basics" beef and chicken stock (50/50 ratio).
*** I usually turn off the oven and leave the pot inside the oven overnight 8-10 hours.

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