Perhaps you have always wanted to prepare a roasted beef shank recipe. Beef shanks are inexpensive cuts of meat that are full of flavor when cooked slowly.
I love slow roasting during the winter. Beef shanks are one of the perfects cuts of beef to roast at a low temperature for a long time. You may have seen these sold in the store; they are a very inexpensive cut of beef. Sometimes sold as soup bones, but you will notice there is a lot of meat on these bones. Since they are a bone-in cut of beef and are full of flavor, I think these are a steal at the meat counter.
Beef shanks come from the legs of a cow. So this meat, if not properly cooked, will be tough. If you cook, this meat slowly will become very flavorful and tender. Veal shanks can be made into osso buco; beef shanks can also be prepared through braising.
Braising of Meat
We are going to braise these beef shanks. Braising, simply put means to cook something slow with a lot of liquid. By using a slow cooking method, we get the opportunity to allow the tough connective tissue in this cut of beef to break down. We also get the chance to add some nice flavors with the cooking liquid, so it is a win-win. If you like, you could finish cooking this beef shank recipe in a Crock-Pot.
Steps in Braising
1. Brown the meat – we are going to season the meat and then dredge it into a seasoned flour. Browning the meat will make our meat flavorful initially, and by adding some flour, we will have a nice thick sauce when the beef shanks finishes cooking.
2. Saute Aromatics – Once the meat has been browned we will remove it from the pan, we will saute onions, celery, and carrots in the same pan until they are browned.
3. Scrape up the Fond – by now our pan has brown bits on the bottom, this is where a lot of flavors are. We are going to introduce some dry Sherry to this to help scrape up the browned bits.
4. Add additional liquid. When you simmer the shanks in chicken broth, an additional layer of flavors will be added to the beef. I think by layering different types of meat brings out the best flavors forward.
5. Slow cooking – the cooking is done in a covered dish in the oven, or you can place this into a crock pot. The slow cooking will allow the connective tissues to break down, and this dish will become tender and flavorful.
One question, I often get, is about cooking wine. I have gotten to the point where I use two basic types of wine when I cook. I like to use either a dry Sherry or a dry Marsala. I like to keep these on hand. If you use fortified wines you, won’t have to worry about using them so quickly. So often when you open a bottle of wine you have to drink it right away. I have learned that if I keep a bottle of either dry Sherry or dry Marsala I always have a bottle of wine that I can use in cooking. I use the dry Sherry for when whites are called for and dry Marsala when red wines are called for in a recipe. These typically cost between 8 to 15 dollars a bottle, so I think these are a very good deal considering how many dishes you can make with a bottle of these wines.
This dish is flavored with a tradition mirepoix. A mirepoix is a mixture of chopped celery, carrots, and onions. This blend of vegetables is a classic blend that is used in many dishes. These aromatics lend so much flavor to this dish, and these vegetables stay firm after cooking that you can still enjoy these vegetables as they are.
This recipe has a gremolata, I think this adds a lot to this dish. If you have never had a gremolata it, is simply chopped parsley, lemon zest, and finely chopped garlic mixed together. The parsley topping adds a nice finishing touch to this recipe. The beef is a heavy dish, and finishing it with the gremolata adds the right amount of zest to this dish.
You may want to serve this dish some mashed potatoes, perhaps some polenta. This dish will make a sauce that you will want to drizzle over the beef shank when you serve it.
Roasted Beef Shank Recipe
Roasted beef shanks are tender and full of flavor. Prepare these inexpensive meat cuts easily for your next big meal.
- 2 pounds beef shanks trimmed if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 4 large celery stalks chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup dry Sherry
- 16 ounces low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large lemon, zested
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
Trim excess fat from beef shanks if desired. Salt and pepper beef shanks on both sides. Prepare seasoned flour by combining flour, salt, and paprika. Dredge beef shanks in flour. In a large skillet heat oil, and brown the beef shakes for 4 to 5 minutes on each side on medium heat.
The shanks should just brown on both sides. Remove shanks and place on a plate for later. If needed add another tablespoon of vegetable oil and add onions, celery, and carrots. Saute until they just begin to brown. Add chopped garlic and saute for another moment or two. Add 1/2 cup of dry Sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Scrape up as many of the browned bits (fond) as you can. Add cumin and smoked paprika and stir to combine spices in the mixture.
Optional Slow cooker instructions
Crock-Pot directions: Transfer seasoned vegetables to the Crock-Pot and place the beef shanks in the Crock-Pot. Add low sodium chicken broth, and cover. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Oven Directions Transfer seasoned vegetables and beef shanks to a Dutch oven or other cooking vessels with a lid. Add chicken broth, and cover. Bake at 250 degrees for 4 hours.