As is the case with many classic recipes, apart from certain undisputed essential elements, there are often several interpretations. For example, tomatoes were not introduced in this recipe until the end of the eighteenth century. Some people still make it without tomatoes, but I like the richer, rounder flavor tomatoes give, particularly when accompanied in the classic style with saffron risotto. This recipe is similar to the one my mother makes. Traditionally, a mixture of garlic, lemon, and parsley, called gremolada, is added at the end. It adds a distinctive flavor and is optional.
Like most braised meat dishes, the veal shanks will keep well for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, add a couple tablespoons water, cover, and place over medium-low heat.
© 2005 Giuliano Hazan. All rights reserved.