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Braised osso bucco with mushrooms, sage & thyme

6 large portions ( 2-3 inches thick) veal osso bucco (shanks)
salad oil
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup carrots, cut in small dice
1 cup onions, cut in small dice
1 cup celery, cut in small dice
1 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned destemmed and sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Pinot Noir
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup hot water 1 hour
1 can (4 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups beef stock (homemade is best)
2 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until onion turns translucent. Remove from heat. In a large non-stick sauté pan, sauté the mushrooms in a little salad oil over high heat until nicely browned and juices have evaporated. Add the garlic to the mushrooms, cook one minute longer, and then add the wine and the broth from the soaked porcini mushrooms.(Discard the dried mushrooms after their broth is used.)Reduce liquids in the sauté pan by half. Add the carrot-onion mixture to the mushrooms.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the veal shanks and heat a little salad oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the shanks on all sides until they are a deep brown color. When nicely browned, add the mushroom mixture to the pot as well as the stock and the tomato paste. Stir sauce to blend evenly. Cover the pot and place it in a pre-heated 300 degree F oven for about 4 hours. Remove from oven once or twice to carefully turn the shanks over. After four hours remove lid from pot and allow to cook approximately two more hours; meat should be very tender, browned and sauce should be thickened. A few minutes before serving, remove shanks to a serving platter. The sauce can be further reduced at this stage if necessary. Add herbs and salt and pepper, to taste, to sauce and pour over meat. Serve immediately with hot, buttered pasta or mashed potatoes. Makes 6 servings.

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