Chop the vegetables into mirepoix (small dice).
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then brown the shanks well on all sides. Remove the shanks from the pan and set aside.
Sweat the vegetables in a saucepan or a large pot (depending what you have in your kitchen) over medium-low heat until tender, about ten minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook while mixing for two minutes (I have used ketchup in an emergency…). Add the wine and allow it to reduce by half.
Add the pork shanks and the chicken stock until it covers ¾ of the meat. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 90 minutes, turning the shanks regularly (every 15 mins or so) but the longer you cook it the more the tender the meat will become! Make sure to add more chicken stock as needed to make sure the meat is always ¾ covered.
Meanwhile, make the cauliflower puree. Remove florets from the head of cauliflower. Place florets in a pot and add either milk or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer until cauliflower is very tender, approximately 12 minutes. Strain the cauliflower reserving about a half cup of the cooking liquid. In a blender or food processor combine cauliflower with ¼ cup of cooking liquid. Puree. Add more cooking liquid if necessary. Add cheese if using, and salt and pepper to taste. (This can be reheated in a pot over low heat when you are ready to serve!)
Moving on to the ratatouille! Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the bell peppers and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and squash and sauté another five minutes until tender. Add the tomatoes and chili flakes. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 15 minutes. 30-45 minutes is ideal. Salt to taste.
Remove the osso bucco from the braising liquid and serve it warm with cauliflower puree and spicy ratatouille.