To make sure your shanks really are veal, buy them from a butcher who specialises in European cuts; and take the extra precaution of ordering a few days ahead to make sure you don’t miss out.

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  • 1 lemon
  • 4 veal shanks
  • olive oil for cooking
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small turnip, finely diced
  • 1 small swede, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt
  • 1 bouquet garni of bay leaf, thyme and parsley
  • chopped parsley  

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cut lemon into quarters. Rub each shank with a quarter of lemon and then roll in oil with the addition of black pepper and garlic. Set aside to marinate overnight.

Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add a dash of olive oil and brown the shanks all over. Remove shanks from the pan. Add the vegetables and cook until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, stir, lower heat and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

Increase heat; add wine and stir vigorously to remove any sediment from the base of the pan. Simmer for 3–4 minutes. Add tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Place the shanks back in the pan and add enough water to just cover.

Add the bouquet garni and bring the liquid to the boil. Remove the scum as it rises to the surface. Lower heat; cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, turn the shanks to allow even cooking.

When tender, check seasoning and add chopped parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes.