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Osso Buco (non-Traditional dish with mushrooms)

6 thick chunks of veal shank
6 small to medium shallots
1 cup all purpose flour, seasoned salt freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 to 4 tbsp sweet butter or olive oil
8 cups assorted mushrooms (Portabello, crimini, chanterelles, morels,
shiitake, buttons) sliced
3 medium carrots
3 stalks celery, include some leaves
6 to 9 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 to 2 TBSP fresh basil, snipped
1 tsp fresh thyme, snipped
3 bay leaves
Pinch of rosemary (optional)
zest from about 1/4 medium lemon
1 cup white wine
12 cups veal stock or chicken stock
1 cup plus 1 oz dry sherry
1 oz. dried mushrooms
Freshly chopped parsley and fresh celery leaves for garnish.

Special order veal shanks from your butcher. Standard cut is around
an inch and a half, but you want a rich, slow-cooked dish so hold
out for the thick stuff. And make sure they leave the marrow in.
That's what gives this dish flavor.

The night before you plan on making this dish, soak the dried
mushrooms a cup or two of the veal or chicken stock. Allow to soak
at least overnight. In the morning, drain the mushrooms and reserve.
Then add the stock in which they soaked with the other stock to
provide a total of 12 cups (3 quarts).

Add 1 cup dry sherry. Place stock and sherry in a large stockpot
and reduce to (4 cups.)

Saute the mushrooms and three cloves of minced garlic in olive oil
(my preference here) or sweet butter, adding 1 tbs dry sherry to
the hot pan. Add soaked dried mushrooms at the end and deglazing
pan with another tbs of sherry.

Reserve 1 cup of sliced sauteed mushrooms, or button mushroom caps
if you have them. Add remainder of mushrooms to the reduced stock
and puree.

In a Dutch oven or deep (ovenproof) saute' pan on the cooktop heat
butter or olive oil and saute onion and shallots until they begin
to become tender. Coat veal shanks with seasoned flour and add to
pan to brown on each side (keep cut side of bone up so marrow
doesn't come out. Don't turn the shanks on their sides.)

When shanks are browned, add (scraped or peeled and) chopped carrot,
and sweat for a minute or two. Add coarsely chopped celery, bay
leaves, garlic, thyme, basil, rosemary (if desired), the stock and
the wine. Then add enough mushroom-reduced stock to bring the level
of the liquid even with the top of the shanks (at the side. You do
not want any liquid to cover the TOP of the shanks and seep into
the marrow.)

Leaving the pot uncovered, bring to the simmering point. Cover
pot and place in 300 degree oven. Let it braise for about 4 hours.
Correct seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with
mix of fresh parsley and celery leaves 10 minutes before serving,
and for a really distinctive flavor and appearance, sprinkle on
just a tiny bit of orange zest before placing it on the table.

If you want to be extravagant, shave a little black truffle over
each before serving.


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