Braised veal shank with risotto Milanese

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Thought to be over 400 years old, risotto Milanese is a striking rice dish hailing from Milan. A traditional risotto Milanese contains bone marrow, although this is a less common component of modern recipes with the addition of vibrant saffron widely considered to be the most important ingredient. Luke Holder serves his stunning risotto with an succulent veal shank which, served whole and carved at the table, makes a fantastic Italian supper showstopper.

First published in 2015
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For the veal

For the risotto


Begin by preparing the veal. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or pan, then add the onions, carrots, celery and fennel and cook on a medium heat until softened
Add the white wine and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock, garlic halves, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to the boil, then add the veal shank. Braise for about 2½ hours or until the meat is tender
To make the risotto place the chicken stock in a pan and gently simmer. Have a ladle ready to transfer the stock
  • 1l chicken stock
In a separate, heavy-bottomed pan sweat the diced onions in a small amount of oil until soft and translucent, then add the risotto rice to the pan and stir through to toast it until the rice appears a little translucent around the edges
Pour in the white wine, heat until nearly all the liquid is reduced, then add a ladle of stock and stir well. Reduce the stock, then add another ladle, stir and reduce again. Continue to repeat this process, testing the rice every couple of minutes for consistency
  • 50ml of white wine
Once the rice has noticeably softened, pour in two-thirds of the remaining stock along with the saffron. Stir the risotto continuously until it reaches a suitable consistency, where the rice has absorbed some of the stock but there is still a decent amount of liquid in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat
Add the Parmesan, butter and oil to the risotto and return the pan to the heat. Use the spoon to rigorously whip the new ingredients into the risotto until fully combined. Continue to heat gently until it reaches the desired consistency - the finished risotto should flow without being too runny when tipped onto a plate
To serve, season the risotto with a dash of saffron vinegar, then pour into a large serving platter. Top the risotto with the whole cooked veal shank, ready to carve at the table
  • 15ml of white wine vinegar, infused with 1g saffron
First published in 2015

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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