from one generation to the next
The morals issues associated with the consumption of veal are divisive. Images of doe eyed calves fuel emotional animal rights arguements that subsume the facts about veal production. They heavily influence the acceptance of veal by consumers. It may seem irksome to think about the consuming meat from a calf but to be able to make educated ethical choices, you must confront the facts.
It’s a grim reality that the majority of calves born to keep dairy cows lactating are considered a waste product and are despatched to the abbatoir in the first ten days of life, not for human consumption, but to be used in the pharamceutical and leather industries. In line with the UK and Europe the crate raising of calves is banned in Australia, yet only a relatively small number of calves are fattened to marketable weight for the table. Which ever way you look at it, bobby veal is a byproduct of our enormous dairy industry. Be aware, be grateful and consume veal, the only other choice is to become a vegan.
Phew, now down to the business of cooking veal.
Thickly cut sections of veal shank braised in white wine and aromatics are delicately flavoured, spoon soft and unctious. Commonly marketed as “osso buco,” do not confuse this cut of meat with the more readily available yearling beef or gravy beef on the bone sold under the same name. Beef will produce a much more robust style of braise.
Because I’ve been forced to eliminate garlic and onion from my diet, the adjustments I’ve had to make to this recipe preclude it from the Italian genre, no longer do I make osso buco, now it’s plain old braised veal shin on the bone. However, the flavour difference is indiscernable.
Perfect for a cold winter’s night!
Slow Braised Veal Shin
6 thick meaty pieces of veal shank on the bone
2 heaped tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch (12) of baby carrots, peeled and sliced 1cm thick
2 sticks of celery, washed and diced
2 ripe fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
3 strips of lemon peel
6-8 stems of leafy fresh lemon thyme
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pre heat the oven to 150C.
Tie the herbs and zest into a neat bundle with kitchen string. Set aside.
Heat the butter and half the oil together in a saute pan.
Toss the pieces of veal in the rice flour, shake off any excess.
Over a medium gentle heat, brown the veal throughly all over.
Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a deep lidded cast iron casserole dish, then gently saute the carrot and celery until transluscent.
Add the veal to the vegetables when well caramelized then add the bundle of herbs.
Deglaze the saute pan with the wine, scraping all the crusty pieces off the pan.
Reduce the wine by half then add the tomatoes, asafoetida and stock.
Bring the pan to the boil then tip the liquids over the meat and vegetables, adding a little water if necessary to completely submerge the meat.
Cover the surface of the food with a piece of baking paper, cover then oven braise for 1 1/2 hours.
Chill over night to mature the flavour and coagulate the surface fat.
The next day lift all the fat off the surface.
Gently reheat the braised veal on the stove top
Combine the gremolata ingredients.
To serve, scatter over the gremolata over the braised veal.
Delicious served with saffron risotto and steamed greens