I decided recently to try the veal from Countryside Family Farms. Before you start on the lecture about veal, you should know that the veal from Countryside is humanely raised meaning that it is raised in an open corral with no restraints, fed milk and eggs only, and has natural physical development. I get it if you don’t want to eat veal even after that, but I think we’ve firmly established that I’m an omnivore and don’t have said hang ups.
I originally intended to make Osso Bucco, but Sebastian sells his veal shank as a big old shank and I don’t have a cleaver so I cooked it whole, feeling a bit like Wilma Flinstone as I did so. It was worth the effort (2 hours of cooking) and was delicious.
Since I’m in a defensive posture about the veal, I wanted to clear the air about something a friend said today. I love the farmers market and buying directly from farmers. I like the surprise of discovering new things every Saturday morning and visiting with the vendors about how to cook something new. I look forward to Saturday all week long.
Having said that, I want to be clear that I am not anti-grocery store. The reality is that I can’t get everything I need or want from the market so I visit H-E-B or Central Market every week. I picked H-E-B because I think it is a good company – they care about their customers, their products and this community which they prove by investing in some of my favorite nonprofits.
I particularly appreciate that in their produce section they make it easy to find locally grown items or at least things grown in Texas so it doesn’t have to travel as far. Actually, my dream job is to some day be a foodie at Central Market – seriously I’d get paid to stand around all day and talk about food. It would be like heaven.
I’m not trying to convert anyone or tell you that you should only buy things at the market. I buy much more than I used to at the market, but I still buy bananas every week and sometimes I still want spinach in August – that’s not happening at the market. More than anything, I just appreciate a place like the farmers market that lets me get a little closer to the source and makes me think about what I’m eating, when and why. Besides, they don’t serve Taco Deli at H-E-B on Saturday mornings.
Ok, enough for the soap box and back to the veal….
Roasted Veal Shank with White Beans
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 veal shank (about 1.5-2 pounds)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 bunches of carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cups red wine
2-3 cups broth (beef or chicken)
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 can white beans
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place a couple of hand fulls on a plate and stir in salt and pepper. Coat the veal shank with the flour.
In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the veal shank on all sides.
Add the onion, garlic, wine and chicken broth to the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for an hour, basting or turning as needed to keep the meat moist. Add the tomatoes and white beans and cook 1 more hour.
Remove the pan from the oven and pull the meat off the bone. Serve the meat and sauce over pasta, quinoa or couscous.