I first saw one of these beef shanks at Gilmore Braes’ stall at the farmers market several weeks ago. I was quite intrigued by it. I realised after a while that I wanted to cook it in a massive pot like an Italian nonna from the south, with loads of tomato, some wine and herbs. It would take a whole day, but the tomato sauce and the meat itself would be delicious by the end. I like Osso Bucco but eating veal doesn’t exactly fit within my food ethos. I like my animals to have had a happy and long life. When Osso Bucco is cut from the shin of an older cow it looses some of its pizzazz. By cooking it this way, whole and on the bone, all day long in a sweet tomato sauce I had hoped to really get the most of this cut.
|parmesan cheese, for grating|
Brown the shank very well in a large frying pan. This may take 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan large enough to cover the shank with a lid, heat a little olive oil and gently cook the onion and garlic. Add the shank to the saucepan with two bottles of tomato puree, then fill each bottle with water and add the water to the pan to ensure the meat is covered with liquid. Add the oregano, bay leaves and red wine to the pan. Cover and simmer for 6-8 hours. If you can cook it for longer, do so. The longer you cook this, the better.
Remove the shank from the sauce. Simmer the sauce uncovered, on high heat to reduce the sauce. When the shank is cool enough to touch, pull the meat apart and discard any remain fat and tendons. Break up the meat into portion sized pieces. When sauce is sufficiently reduced, cook the pasta according to packet directions. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, mix to combine. Reheat the meat. Divide the pasta between the serving bowls. Place meat on top and grate parmesan cheese.