The classic ossobuco alla Milanese, garnished with gremolata and served with saffron risotto, is hard to beat. But this ossobuco is a pleasant change of pace. The mushrooms release their juices into the sauce and the wine adds depth of flavor.
Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan over high heat. Add as many shanks as will comfortably fit and brown on all sides. Transfer to a deep wide baking dish or roasting pan with a lid or a Dutch oven. Repeat with the remaining shanks.
Heat half the butter in another sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes; transfer to the dish with the shanks.
Heat the remaining butter in the same pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 3 minutes; transfer to the dish with the shanks. Add the wine, Marsala, stock, and tomatoes to the dish. Cover and braise over very low heat until the shanks are very tender, about 1½ hours (or braise in a 350°F oven). Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot with risotto.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.