3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
3 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
1 sage sprig
Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Season the veal shanks with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until well browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the bacon and butter to the casserole and cook over low heat until the bacon fat has been rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the wine and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Return the veal shanks to the casserole and add the bay leaves, thyme and sage. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 2 hours, or until the veal is very tender. Transfer the shanks to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Increase the oven temperature to 500°.
On top of the stove, boil the cooking liquid until it is very flavorful, about 12 minutes. Strain into a medium saucepan and skim the fat from the surface. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Dip each veal shank into the sauce and place on a baking sheet. Roast the shanks on the top shelf of the oven until nicely glazed, about 5 minutes. Reheat the sauce if necessary. Transfer the shanks to plates, spoon the sauce on top and serve.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 3; refrigerate the shanks in the cooking liquid for up to 2 days. Reheat before proceeding.