Braised shanks with balsamic onions and sun-dried tomatoes

Prep 15 min
Plus Cooking time: 25 minutes, Roasting Time: 180 minutes
Makes 6 to 8 servings

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8 to 10
veal or beef shanks
1/2 cup
all-purpose flour
796-mL can
whole tomatoes
2 tsp
dried thyme
2 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
2 284-mL cans
undiluted chicken or beef broth
halved sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 tbsp
1/3 cup
balsamic vinegar
1 cup
chopped fresh parsley, or coriander or basil
garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp
orange or lemon zest


  • Nick edges of shanks to prevent curling during cooking. Place flour in a plastic bag. Coat a large, wide frying pan with oil and set over medium heat. Add 2 to 3 shanks to flour and toss to coat, then shake off excess flour. When oil is hot, add shanks to pan. Cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Then place in a roasting pan large enough to snugly hold shanks in one layer. Repeat with remaining shanks, cooking in batches so pan isn’t crowded. Add more oil as needed. Save leftover flour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300F (150C). Thinly slice onions, then set aside. Place canned tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands or a potato masher, coarsely break up tomatoes. Stir in seasonings and 1 can broth. Thickly slice sun-dried tomatoes, then stir in.
  • When all shanks are removed, add butter to pan. When melted, add onions. Stir often until soft, 5 minutes. Add vinegar and stir until some of the liquid is absorbed, 1 minute. Sprinkle in leftover flour and stir to mix. Gradually stir in remaining can of broth. Add tomato mixture and stir often until hot, 2 minutes. Pour over shanks.
  • Cover roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Roast, occasionally turning shanks, until meat is fork-tender and almost coming away from bone, 3 to 4 hours. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove shanks to a bowl. Pour sauce into a large saucepan. Boil over high heat, stirring often, until as thick as you like. Then pour over shanks.
  • In a small bowl, stir parsley with garlic and orange peel. Sprinkle over shanks just before serving. Shanks will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave, then reheat in a covered dish in 300F (150C) oven. Prepare parsley topping the day you’re serving shanks.

Dig out your roasting pan and slow-roast large veal or beef shanks. They taste best made one or two days ahead, which makes for easy entertaining.


Calories 205, Protein 15.3 g, Carbohydrates 19.5 g, Fat 7.7 g, Fibre 2.6 g, Sodium 991 mg.
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