This is possibly one of the most classic bistro dishes we serve as, apart from veal chops, shin is the best and tastiest veal cut. Make sure you get cuts of shin that reveal the marrow, which is crucial to the final dish.
Preheat the oven to 155–170°C/gas 2–3.
In a heavy-based ovenproof pan (I find cast-iron pans best for this) over a moderate heat, brown the shins in half the butter until they are a deep gold colour.
Take out the shins and discard the blackened butter. Add the remaining butter and cook until nut-brown. Add the shins back, together with the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, and the anchovies. Finally, add the wine and water to a depth of 2.5cm. Cover and cook in the preheated oven, basting and turning the meat every 15–20 minutes, and topping up the water, if necessary, for about 2 hours. The meat should easily come away from the bone and yield under pressure.
Towards the end of this time, prepare the braised vegetables. Melt the butter in a heavy-based casserole with the garlic and rosemary, then colour the vegetables in this mixture until golden. Add the Madeira and reduce by half, then add a few spoonfuls of the veal cooking liquid and 250ml water. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender and nicely glazed. Season well.
When the veal is cooked, spoon the marrow out of the bones and add to the cooking juices. Boil to reduce to a rich gravy and finish with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve with the braised vegetables.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.