Braised shanks with balsamic onions and sun-dried tomatoes

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15 min


6 to 8 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 25 minutes, Roasting Time: 180 minutes
Braised shanks with balsamic onions and sun-dried tomatoes

Andreas Trauttmansdorff


  • 8 to 10 veal or beef shanks
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 onions
  • 796-mL can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 284-mL cans undiluted chicken or beef broth
  • 8 halved sun-dried tomatoes , packed in oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley , or coriander or basil
  • 3 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.

Nutrition (per serving)

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

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.