Magazine article Sunset

Summer Ways with Shanks

Magazine article Sunset

Summer Ways with Shanks

Article excerpt

What really helps is cooking the meat ahead and grilling later

IN HOT WEATHER, people often forsake the pleasure of eating moist, fork-tender braised shanks because they take a long time to cook.

But if you oven-braise the meat early in the morning or the night before, you can keep a cool house and have meat ready to heat and brown on the grill for dinner.

To prepare grill. Ignite about 60 charcoal briquets on firegrate in a barbecue with a lid. When coals are well spotted with gray ash (about 20 minutes), push half the briquets to each side of the fire-grate. Lay a drip pan between coals. Set grill 4 to 6 inches above coals; let coals burn until medium-hot (you can hold your hand at grill level over coals only 3 to 4 seconds). Lightly oil grill.

Grilled Veal Shanks with Apricot Glaze

4 slender veal shanks, each about 6 inches long (about 4 lb. total)

3 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 cup (about 6 oz.) dried apricots

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon grated orange peel

Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

4 cups hot cooked couscous

Salt and pepper

Lay shanks in a single layer in a metal 9- by 13-inch pan. Add broth, apricots, lemon juice, minced rosemary, and orange peel; be sure apricots are covered with broth. Cover pan very tightly with foil.

Bake shanks in a 400 |degrees~ oven for 45 minutes. Turn meat over, cover pan tightly with foil, and bake until meat is tender when pierced but not falling off the bone, 45 to 50 minutes longer. If making ahead, let shanks cool; cover and chill up to a day.

Transfer shanks to a platter. Skim and discard any fat from pan juices. Pour juices and apricots into blender or food processor; whirl until smoothly pureed. Return mixture to baking pan and boil over high heat, stirring often, until reduced to 2 cups, about 12 minutes. Pour 1 cup sauce into a small bowl; keep warm or reheat. Use remaining sauce as a baste.

Brush shanks with about half the basting sauce. Lay shanks in center (not over coals) of prepared grill. Cover barbecue, open vents, and cook until shanks are lightly browned on bottom, about 10 minutes.

With a wide spatula, gently loosen meat from grill and, using tongs, turn shanks over; meat is inclined to fall off bones. …

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