In a shallow dish, combine the flour and Essence. Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour, shaking to remove any excess. In a large Dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and the fat is rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To the fat in the pan, add the veal shanks in batches to prevent overcrowding and cook until browned on all sides, adding more butter if needed. Remove the shanks from the pan and let rest on a baking sheet. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to deglaze the pan. Cook until reduced by half.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan, and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the thyme, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and enough beef stock to almost completely cover the meat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and simmer, turning the meat occasionally, until the meat is tender and falling from the bone, about 2 hours.
To make the mascarpone polenta: In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Very gradually, add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Add the salt and whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently with a heavy wooden until thick and creamy, 20 to 30 minutes. Add the mascarpone to the polenta and adjust the seasoning to taste. With tongs, transfer the shanks to a plate and cover to keep warm. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until slightly reduced. Remove from the heat.
To make the gremolata, in a small bowl, combine the remaining teaspoon garlic, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 tablespoons parsley. Spoon the polenta into 4 large bowls and top each with 2 veal shank pieces. Spoon the sauce over the veal and sprinkle each portion with gremolata to taste. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings