This is what's known as "lo stinco di vitello" in Italy. Here in the states, it's known as a veal shin roast. In either language, it's succulent and delicious.
This one was prepared by my friend Cristina De Micheli on our recent trip to Italy. Cristina lives in Piacenza with her husband Stefano Consonni, and their three charming sons, Francesco, Federico and Filippo.
The stinco was served after a wonderful platter of affettati (sliced cold meats), anolini in brodo (small ravioli-like pastas in broth that are a specialty of Emilia-Romagna,) and a couple of quiche-like vegetable tarts. We also ate roasted and stuffed chicken, vegetables, salad and tiramisu and macedonia (fruit salad) for dessert. It was all memorable and no one walked away hungry for sure.
Cristina was kind enough to send me her recipe for the stinco, which I am sharing with you here. In fact, if MaryAnn of "Finding La Dolce Vita," and Marie of "Proud Italian Cook" don't mind, I'm taking the liberty of inviting Cristina and her stinco to the virtual "Festa Italiana" they are hosting.
I don't want to come empty-handed though, so I'll bring along an after dinner drink I brought back from Italy, made with grappa, chocolate and hazelnuts, if that's ok. MaryAnn and Marie have already started posting entries for the festa, so make sure you click on the links and have a look at all the wonderful recipes. Stinco di Vitello - recipe courtesy of Cristina De Micheli "Roasts are easy to prepare and always impressive, and since veal is truly one of the most elegant meats you can serve, this dish is an extra-special treat worthy of your finest holiday menu. Order this particular cut ahead of time from the butcher. It won't be cheap, but it will be delicious. It is the same shin from which your butcher cuts veal ossibuchi. This time he does not need to cut it. You will buy the whole shin."
Ingredients: (Makes 5 servings)
1 veal shin (bone in) 8 juniper berries 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary salt and white pepper 1 glass dry white wine 2 T. extra virgin olive oil 2 T. butter 1 cup chicken, veal or beef stock
Season both sides of the veal shin liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the veal, the juniper berries and the rosemary and cook on one side until brown. Then turn over and brown on the other side. Transfer veal to a deep roasting dish and keep cooking on the burner, not the oven. Add the white wine, cook for some minutes on both sides until the wine evaporates. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil, adding some stock constantly (every 15 minutes) until you use all of it. Keep on cooking the shin until it is tender and looks done (two and a half hours). You should be able to detach the bone from the meat easily when it is ready.
Slice the veal shin and serve with roasted potatoes sprinkled with rosemary and salt.
The device you see in the slides above is a "torchio," a hollow brass tube attached to a bench or a wall. Different metal "dies" can be inserted in the torchio for different shapes of pasta. The torchio belonged to my mother's family in Italy. After decades of collecting dust in my basement, the torchio was recently resurrected when my father offered to make a bench for it. The torchio is screwed to the bench, semolina pasta dough is fed into the tube, the crank is turned, (in this case by my son Michael) and with a lot of elbow grease, pasta is extruded through the die. What comes out below is a tubular pasta - anything from thin spaghetti to bucatini, similar to a hollow straw.
In my last life, I was a journalist in NYC, but left the rat race to live in Italy for a year. I created this blog upon my return to combine my interests of writing and photography with my love of food and travel. My mother was from the region of Emilia-Romagna, my father's family was from Calabria and my late husband's family is Abruzzese. Is it any wonder then, that Italian art, music, food and the country's beautiful landscape are among my passions? I hope you will try some of the recipes and post comments. Buon Appetito. Linda