There was only one meat dish at the vegan/vegetarian friendly dinner party, and I wanted to making something real big and meaty. After going though various recipes for short ribs, steak, ribs, and lamb, I decided to go with a Thomas Keller recipe for roasted whole veal shanks, from his Ad Hoc recipe cookbook. The veal is slow roasted for 8 hours until it resembles the same consistency as pulled pork, and served with it’s own juices and vegetables. It’s a very simple dish that lets the freshness of young cow shine through by it self.

To prep for the dish, carrots, onions, and celery are cut into 1 inch pieces and tossed together. I layered enough vegetables in a heavy cast iron casserole until covered, and reserved the rest until the veal is ready to be placed.

The veal shanks are taken out of the fridge and left at room temperature for 1 hour. I try to take off as much fat and tissue that surrounds the meat as possible, while still leaving enough to keep the shanks together. This will help the meat and vegetables taste clean.

The shanks are seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned in a hot pan until brown on all sides, which will take about 6 to 8 minutes depending on the size of your shank.

After the shanks are nicely browned, they are placed in the casserole, and the vegetables are pack in afterwards.

The veal shanks are placed in a 250F oven and braised for 8 hours (might be longer or shorter depending on the size of your shanks, mine were approx 3.5 lbs each). When the meat is ready, a fork can penetrate easily into the meat, and the meat will have shrunken away from the bones by a lot.

To serve, I pulled the meat off in chunks, and ladled the braised vegetable pieces along side with it. You can also eat the marrow from the bones if you’d like.