Braised Veal Shank with Dried Apricots

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Braised Beef Shank with Dried Apricots


This is a great recipe for a comforting Sunday dinner during the colder months. Prepare it the day before to allow flavours to really develop, then gently heat through once ready to serve. By the way, veal shank is what Italians refer to as “osso buco”, meaning a bone with a hole in it.



4 veal shanks with enough meat to feed four people (beef shank is also delicious in this recipe)
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) red chili flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
1/4 cup (60 mL) tomato paste
1 cup (250 mL) dark beer, a dark lager or porter work well
1/3 cup (80 mL) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
4 cups (1 L) beef stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C), season shanks generously with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large, wide pot heat oil over medium-high, add shanks without overlapping the meat. You may have to work in batches. Brown well on both sides, about 15 minutes. Remove shanks from pot and set aside.
  3. Discard excess fat, leaving about 1 tbsp (15 mL) behind for sautéeing.
  4. Add onions, garlic, thyme and chili flakes. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add tomato paste and ground cloves, stir, cooking for 2 minutes or until paste begins to break up and cook.
  6. To the pot add shanks, beer, bay leaves and beef stock.
  7. Cover and bring pot to the boil and then lower to simmer. Cook covered for 2 1/2 hours. Adding more liquid (water) if the pot cooks dry.
  8. After 2 hours remove the lid and let liquid reduce to sauce consistency. If needed thicken with 2 tsp corn starch blended with ¼ cup cold water.
  9. Re-season and serve hot with mashed potatoes or polenta and some sautéed greens.


Beer Pairing:

Big Rig “Release the Hounds” Black IPA, Ontario (Canada) or Erdinger Dunkel Weissbier, Erding, (Germany)

Wine Pairing:

Peninsula Ridge Shiraz, Niagara, (Canada) or Carpineto Dogajolo Rosso, Tuscany, (Italy)