12 slices of thickly-sliced bacon (set half aside)
12 whole garlic cloves
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
½ bunch of each rosemary, thyme and sage
30 ml ( 2 tbsp) of sage leaves (optional)
4 bay leaves
250 mL (1 cup) dry white wine
1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes
1 litre (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
375 ml (1½ cups) of Panko breadcrumbs
250 ml (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 160°C (300°F).
Season veal shanks with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add veal shanks and sear until browned on both sides. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
Remove remaining fat from the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook half the bacon, stirring until the fat begins to melt and before the bacon gets crispy, about 4 minutes. Add onions and garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage sprigs and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Add wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and veal shanks, as well as any juices that have accumulated. Add water to cover, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise veal shanks until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check the pot from time to time to make sure that the liquid is not boiling too hard and that the shanks are still submerged (add more water if needed).
Let shanks cool slightly in liquid, then transfer to a tray or cutting board and wrap in aluminum foil.
Strain liquid into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid reduces to about 2 ½ cups, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook remaining bacon in skillet over medium heat until golden and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer bacon onto paper towels. Crumble bacon.
Add olive oil, then breadcrumbs to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until breadcrumbs are golden-brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese, sage leaves if desired and crumbled bacon. Set aside and toss to combine.
Pour a little of the juices over veal shanks and top with breadcrumbs. Transfer remaining juices to a small bowl to pour on top of the meat.
Serve with oven-roasted carrots or other root vegetables.
Tips and Tricks
Reduce the amount of fresh bacon by half and use precooked bacon to make the crumbled bacon.