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badthings

roasted shanks

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Dear Chef Hill,

In Italy a few weeks ago, we twice had delicious stinco al forno (once pork, once veal). These were whole shanks that had been roasted very slowly (many hours, they said at one place), apparently without moisture. I was shocked at how tender they were, and wanted to try to replicate it at home, but all I could find this week were sectioned beef shanks (cut as though for osso buco). Since you mentioned shanks in the pressure-cooker topic, I thought I'd ask you: should I bother trying to roast these, or should I braise them?

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Veal shanks - sold as shin of veal - are excellent plainly roasted. Th ideal tecnique for the others is pot roasting. Pot roasting is really an extension of the braising process but implies large joints rather than cubes of meat. Try to add the minimum of extra liquid, especially at the start, so that the meat will produce its own juices rather than poach in stock or wine. It's a slowish business but worth it.

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