Braised shin of veal with spring vegetables

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This cut is known as osso buco in Italian and is used to make the famous osso buco Milanese. It's cut through the shin about 3-4cm thick and can be used in all sorts of ways, incorporating seasonal vegetables or even in Moroccan-style in a tagine. Unfortunately our native spring vegetables have not arrived yet and won't for a month or so, depending on the weather. We can, though, rely on our European friends where the climate is a little ahead of ours to come up with the goods and give us a little taster of what's to come. Or use frozen peas and beans.

This cut is known as osso buco in Italian and is used to make the famous osso buco Milanese. It's cut through the shin about 3-4cm thick and can be used in all sorts of ways, incorporating seasonal vegetables or even in Moroccan-style in a tagine. Unfortunately our native spring vegetables have not arrived yet and won't for a month or so, depending on the weather. We can, though, rely on our European friends where the climate is a little ahead of ours to come up with the goods and give us a little taster of what's to come. Or use frozen peas and beans.

4 x 300-350g pieces of shin of veal
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp flour, plus extra for dusting
80g of butter
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
1 bayleaf
A few sprigs of thyme
100ml white wine
1 12 litres chicken stock
3tbsp double cream

For the garnish

80g peas (shelled weight)
100g podded weight of broad beans
100g any other spring vegetable like runner beans, barbe di fratte (monk's beard or agrette) or young leeks

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Season and lightly flour the pieces of veal and pan fry them for 3-4 minutes on each side until they begin to colour (they just need to be sealed, so do not brown them). In a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, and large enough to fit the pieces of veal, gently cook the onions, leeks, celery, thyme and bayleaf in the butter for 3-4 minutes without colouring, stirring every so often. Add the flour and stir well, then gradually stir in the wine and stock, ensuring no lumps form. Bring to the boil, season and add the pieces of veal. Cover with a lid and, skimming every so often, simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. It's difficult to put an exact time on braising, so you may need to give it another half an hour or so if it needs it.

Remove the pieces of veal from the pan and strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan. Skim off any fat and simmer until it is thick enough to coat the pieces of veal, but not too gluey. Add the double cream, bring back to the boil and re-season if necessary.

Meanwhile cook the vegetables in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender. If the broad beans are large you may need to remove the outer shells after cooking. If you can get monk's beard, it can be trimmed and added raw to the other cooked vegetables at the end. Re-heat the veal in the sauce and serve in deep plates or bowls with the sauce spooned over and the vegetables scattered on top.

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