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Famed butcher Pat LaFrieda has a marvelous new book Meat that combines information, education and wonderful recipes. This is the standard for meat books, the standard. Here’s a link to my recent cookbook review:


The homey recipes in Meat are definitely and truly Italian-American. The LaFrieda meat company is four generations old and meat has been the topic of work and of the table for almost a hundred years in that expanding housefhold.

This recipe, as you can see from the picture in the book, is one of those “ultimate” meat recipes that you might serve on a weekend night and certainly for a holiday. This is a classic dish, one Pat often makes. Rather than cut the shank into disks, here the entire shank is cooked whole and meat is carved off at the table. The dish has the striking presentation of, well, osso buco.

For the spring holidays, you might forgo that ham or lamb and serve this most elegant dish.

Oh, one note. When ordering a shank for this meal, be sure to request a hind shank which is considerably larger than a foreshank. If you cannot get a hindshank, use two hindshanks for four people.

Pat LaFrieda’s Whole Shank Osso Buco

Yield: serves 4


  • 1 whole veal hind shank (about 3 ½ pounds), knuckle cut flat by the butcher; or 2 veal foreshanks (about 5 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 strips orange zest (removed with a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 6 to 8 cups veal or chicken stock, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon or ½ orange for zesting


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Season the shank meat with the salt and pepper and dust it lightly with flour.

In a Dutch oven or other ovenproof pan just large enough to hold the shank (or shanks) resting on its side, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it slides easily in the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the shank(s) and sear until browned all over, about 15 minutes. Transfer the shank(s) to a plate. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pan you cooked the veal in. Season the vegetables with salt, stir to coat them with the oil, and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme, orange zest strips, rosemary, and bay leaf. Add the wine and cook until it reduces by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 4 or 5 minutes to caramelize it. Lay the shank in the pot (with the bone pointing to the side) and pour the stock around the meat, adding as much as needed so the liquid comes just to the top of the meat. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the pot with the lid (or cover it with foil if you’re using a pan with no lid), put the pot in the oven, and roast until the meat is fork-tender and failing off the bone, about 3 hours. Let the shank cool in the braising liquid.

Remove the shank from the braising liquid and set it aside. Put the pot with the liquid on the stovetop and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

Put the veal shank on a platter with the bone standing straight up. Pour the sauce around it and zest the lemon (or orange) over and around the meat. To serve the shank, cut the meat down the length of the bone; it will begin to fall off in chunks.

Source: Meat by Pat LaFrieda [Atria Books, 2014]