Medieval Kitchen, Chateau de Pierreclos, Burgundy, France
Medieval Kitchen, Chateau de Pierreclos, Burgundy, France
Lisa S....
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Braised Veal Shanks with Tomato,
White Beans, and Basil



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Geraniums and Hydrangea by Doorway, Chateau de Cercy, Burgundy, France
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Vineyard View of Chateau de Pierreclos, Burgundy, France
Vineyard View of Chateau de Pierreclos, Burgundy, France
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The Essential
New York Times Cookbook:
Classic Recipes for
a New Century

by Amanda Hesser

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 Chateau Surrounded by Vines, Burgundy, France
Chateau Surrounded by Vines, Burgundy, France
Oliver Strewe
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La Belle Cuisine


Braised Veal Shanks with Tomato,
White Beans, and Basil

Cook and the Gardener:
A Year of Recipes and Writings
from the French Countryside

by Amanda Hesser, 1999, W. W. Norton & Co.

"The ancient link between the gardener and the cook is at the heart of this remarkably evocative cookbook, in which Amanda Hesser relates the story of
a year she spent as cook in a seventeenth-century château in Burgundy.
Before long, her culinary life becomes inextricably bound to the seasons of
the Yonne River Valley and to Monsieur Milbert, the seemingly impervious,
charmingly sly peasant caretaker of the château's kitchen garden..
"Along with the recipes comes a wealth of practical advice on everything from storing potatoes to beginning sourdough starter to making cassis. Essays
celebrate the seasons of the château kitchen garden and relate the growing
friendship between the old gardener and the young cook. As Milbert opens
up to Hesser, the reader glimpses the quirky customs and sensible wisdom of
a vanishing way of life in provincial France."

The Cook and the Gardener is the winner of the 2000 IACP Cookbook Award
in the Literary Food Writing category. No doubt you'll agree the award is well deserved. It remains one of our all-time favorite cookbooks.

Serves 4

3/4 pound frozen fresh beans or
1/2 pound dried white haricot,
cannelloni, or Great Northern beans
(soaked overnight, if dried)
1 carrot, trimmed, peeled, and cut in half
2 onions, cut in half through the roots
1 head garlic, cut crosswise to expose the cloves
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
10 black peppercorns
Spring Stock [or other stock] or
water, to cover
2 tablespoons butter
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

4 veal shanks (about 2 pounds)
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
6 ripe tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
2-3 branches basil, leaves torn
into small pieces
About 3 cups Spring Stock [or other stock]
or water, more if needed

1. If you are making this dish with dried beans, place them in a bowl,
cover them with water, and soak them overnight. Drain and rinse them,
picking out any bad beans or stones before proceeding with the recipe.
2. Put the beans in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a
boil. Drain and rinse the beans once more. Add the beans back to the
pan along with the carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper-
corns. Pour stock over the beans, covering them by 4 inches (this
allows room for evaporation). Place the pan over high heat and bring
to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, until the
beans are just tender, not mushy, yet no longer chalky. Taste one to
see. Drain, and discard the herbs and vegetables. Stir in the butter and
season the beans with salt and pepper. You should always season beans
after cooking. If you salt their cooking liquid, the skins will be tough.
3. Prepare the veal shanks:  Season them with salt and pepper. In a
heavy braising pot or deep flameproof casserole fitted with a lid, large
enough to fit the shanks in one layer, heat the oil over medium-high
heat. Sauté the veal shanks on all dies, browning them well, 10 to 15
minutes. Remove the shanks to a plate.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion and bay leaves. If
you have electric heat, you may want to do this off the heat because
your stove will take a while to cool to a temperature that won’t char
the onions. Soften them slightly until translucent and wilted, stirring
them in the oil in the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir vigorously to coat the onion and cook the flour. Pour in the wine and
bring it to a boil. Reduce by half.
5. Place the veal back in the pot, add the tomatoes and half the basil, and
pour in the stock until it is about 3/8 inch below the top of the veal
shanks. Add more stock if necessary. Bring to a low boil, then reduce
the heat so the liquid is just percolating. Cover and braise the veal until
it is extremely tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
6. Turn the veal once or twice while braising so it cooks evenly, and add
the beans when you think the veal is just about done, so they can ab-
sorb some of the braising liquid and soften a touch more, about 10
minutes. The veal is done when it appears to be pulling away from
the bone and when the tines of a fork slide in and out of the meat
without any difficulty. Taste the braising sauce for seasoning, adding
salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired. Sprinkle over the
remaining basil.
7. To serve:  Place a veal shank on each of four individual shallow bowls
or plates. Using a slotted spoon, spoon some beans and tomato over the
shanks, then spoon over some sauce. Serve. If you have leftover beans
and sauce, you can make soup by adding more veal stock and some
blanched green beans and beet greens.

More from The Cook and the Gardener!

Featured Archive Recipes:
Veal Braised in the Old-Fashioned Way
(Cul de Veau à la Façon de Grand-Mère)

Veal, Braised, Le Caméléon (Tendrons de Veau)
Veal Shanks, Braised, Milanese Style -
Ossobuco (Marcella Hazan)


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