The Sauce is Downright Sinful…

With a chill in the air and daytime highs in the 60’s, and night temps in the 40’s and 50’s, it was perfect weather to jump back into a braise-craze frenzy. And what better way then to showcase lovely farmer’s market veal shanks. By no means cheap, sometimes you have to cut loose a little and treat yourself, right?

Thumbing through one of our culinary magazines I happened across an advertisement for Wolf Gourmet’s Multi-Function Cooker that featured this Slow-Cooked Osso Buco with Mustard & Horseradish Gravy recipe. Need I say more? Osso Bucco is one of the more decadent gustatory pleasures, as the slow braise produces the most tender, succulent results accompanied by a rich, deeply flavored au jus… almost sinfully so… yet with no butter or cream.


Making this braised classic in the Wolfe multi-function cooker lets you sear, slow-cook, and simmer the sauce all in the same pan. But in lieu of owning said cooker, we made the dish in our beloved Big Red—an enameled cast iron pot—which also allows the same functions (the directions below are based on using our pot.) No need to purchase a fancy cooker that you’ll have to try and find space for…

One huge positive about using Big Red instead of the Wolfe gadget was the shanks were fall-apart tender in half the time, only two hours as opposed to four! But God forbid you “discard the solids” in Step 4. Not in our house—that’s some mighty fine vittles you’d be tossing away. Instead, fish out the garlic cloves (which are brimming with healthy nutrients), mash them and add to the gravy fixin’s; and save the onions and carrots to serve with dinner or with any leftovers.

We did not discard the onion, carrots or garlic cloves, they were just way to succulent too dispose of.

Yes, you will need a good portion of an afternoon to prep and cook this feast, but your family and friends will be duly impressed. During the cooking phase, you’ll have a few hours to attend to other pleasures. But trust me, the savory aromas wafting through the house will drive you crazy with anticipation.

For those of you a bit skittish about veal, the meat is tender, leaner than poultry, has just as much protein as beef, and is every bit as easy to cook at home as a steak or pork chop. Because of the stigma of raising caged animals, many customers shy away from veal. Happily, these days there are more humane options for raising veal—the calves are no longer chained to individual cages. Some are even raised free-range, on pasture—like the ones we got from the Amish farmer’s market.

Serve over creamy garlic mashed potatoes along with roasted root vegetables, or as in our case, roasted Brussels sprouts. With all it’s layers of flavor, the gravy was out-of-this world fabulous—we just wish there had been more of it. The recipe is sooo good, it’ll render you “Slap your Pappy” happy!



  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 veal shanks (about 4 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup homemade or lower-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in quarters crosswise
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, root trimmed but left intact, and quartered lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 2 Tbs. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp. grainy prepared mustard
  • 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  •  2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Set a stove-top burner to high and heat the olive oil until shimmering. Pat the shanks dry with paper towels, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the shanks in the pot until deep golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn and sear the other side, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, remove, and set aside the shanks.
  3. Whisk the broth, wine, and tomato paste and add to the pot. Bring the broth mixture to a simmer, scraping the bottom to loosen any browned bits.
  4. Turn the burner to low and add the carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and allspice.
  5. Nestle the shanks on top of the vegetables, cover, and cook until fall-apart tender, about 2 hours (4 hours if using the multi-function cooker.)
  6. Transfer the shanks to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the contents of the vessel through a sieve into a heatproof bowl and discard the solids. Skim any fat from the top of the strained liquid (or use a fat separator).
  7. Return the liquid to the pot, and turn to medium-high. Bring to a boil and then simmer rapidly until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  8. Whisk in the brandy, horseradish, and mustard. In a small bowl, mix the flour into the sour cream, stir in a few tablespoons of the sauce, and then pour the sour cream mixture into the sauce, whisking vigorously to blend.
  9. Cook over low, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Meanwhile, transfer the shanks to 4 plates. Serve with the gravy and a sprinkling of parsley.


Presented by Wolf Gourmet

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