Buffalo, or bison, is lean and low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium, and works beautifully in place of rich veal. Although it’s readily available in most grocery stores, if you can’t find it, you can substitute turkey legs without sacrificing flavor.
YIELD 6–8 SERVINGS
ZEST FACTOR MEDIUM
PREP TIME 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME 2–3 HOURS
3 POUNDS BISON SHANK
FLOUR FOR DUSTING
SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER TO TASTE
2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL (MORE AS NEEDED)
2 MEDIUM ONIONS, SLICED
2 MEDIUM CARROTS, PEELED AND SLICED
2 CELERY STALKS, SLICED
½ CUP DRY RED WINE
6 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED
1 (28-OUNCE) CAN DICED TOMATOES, UNDRAINED
1½ CUPS LOW-SODIUM BEEF BROTH (MORE AS NEEDED)
1 TEASPOON DRIED THYME
1 TEASPOON DRIED OREGANO
1 TEASPOON DRIED BASIL
1 BAY LEAF
3–4 WHOLE TABASCO PEPPERS, CRUSHED
¼ CUP PARSLEY, CHOPPED
GRATED PARMESAN FOR GARNISH
1 LEMON, CUT INTO WEDGES
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pat the bison shanks dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper and dust with the flour.
2. Place a Dutch oven on the stovetop over high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shanks and brown all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the browned shanks and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until slightly tender, about 4–5 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, beef broth, thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf and peppers and bring to a boil. Return the shanks to the pan. If needed, add more beef broth to fully cover the shanks. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2–3 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone. Check the oven every 30 minutes, basting the shanks, and turn the shanks halfway through.
4. To serve, remove the shanks with a slotted spoon and place on individual plates. Spoon the sauce from the pot over the shanks and garnish with the parsley, Parmesan and a wedge of lemon.