8 pieces of veal shank, cut 2 1/2 inches thick, with marrow exposed at both ends (about 6 pounds)
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch-thick coins
2 small cooking onions, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch slices
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 28 ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes
3 cups chicken or veal stock
2 cups dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, germ removed and very finely chopped
4 sprigs savoury, picked and chopped
Preheat oven to 325 F. Season shanks with salt and pepper. On the stove, heat a heavy-bottomed 6 to 8 quart dutch oven or casserole dish on high. Add the olive oil and butter and heat until the foam subsides. Place the shanks in the pan and brown, turning to get every surface, 12 to 15 minutes. Depending on the size of pan, you may have to do this in batches. Remove the shanks and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, celery, thyme and wine and bring to a boil. Place shanks back into roasting pan in one layer and pour the liquid mixture overtop, making sure they are submerged at least halfway. If shanks are not covered halfway, add more stock. Cover the pan with tight-fitting lid or aluminium foil. Place in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and cook, turning occasionally until meat is tender.
Strain about 3 cups of the liquid into a saucepan. Skim fat from the surface and reduce the liquid until slightly syrupy, reduced to about 1 ½ cups. Add the garlic, savoury and adjust salt. Simmer for a further five minutes.
Lift the veal out of the pan and scrape any braising vegetables from it. Serve onto warm warm plates or wide shallow bowls with the polenta and greens. Spoon sauce over top the veal and polenta. Garnish with two sage and anchovy fritters.
Chris McDonald is chef at Toronto's Cava restaurant.
Follow us on Twitter: