Braised Ontario Veal Shanks with White Beans


Ontario veal shanks are full of delicate flavour but need to be moist cooked in liquid to ensure tenderness. White beans infused with the flavours of rosemary and bay leaf make a fibre and flavour-rich substitute for mashed potatoes. Perfect for a winter dinner party, make these shanks a day ahead and re-warm before serving to allow time for flavours to infuse.

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  • 2 lbs (1 kg) Ontario veal shanks, tied
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) each salt and pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped celery
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine
  • 2 cups (500 mL) veal or beef stock
  • 1 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 19 oz (540 mL) cans white beans (kidney or navy), drained and rinsed




Season shanks with 1 tsp (5 mL) each of the salt and pepper. In large Dutch oven or heavy deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown shanks on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate. Stir in onion, celery and carrots; cook, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute. Stir in flour and tomato paste. Cook until paste is dark, about 2 minutes. Do not let pan burn.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Pour in wine, scraping bottom of pan to incorporate any brown bits, until wine is almost absorbed. Stir in veal stock and tomatoes with their juices. Add thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and remaining salt and pepper. Transfer shanks back to pan and nestle in sauce until they are completely submerged. Bring just to boil, cover and transfer to a pre-heated 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour.

Stir in beans, keeping shanks submerged and cook until meat falls easily from the bone approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (will depend on thickness of shanks).

Serves 4 to 6

Helpful Tips: Lentils can be substituted for white beans. Shanks can be made up to 2 days in advance and re-warmed before serving.

Suggested Wine Pairings: 

Red Wine Pairings: JMagnotta Enotrium Meritage 2003; Peninsula Ridge Syrah 2004

White Wine Pairings: NCT Pinot Noir 2005; Fielding Estates Chardonnay Reserve 2004