Beef shanks

My first meat recipe in a few years 🙂

I made broth first but that recipe was unremarkable – optionally brown bones, add roughly chopped celery, onion, and carrots, and whole garlic cloves, cover with water, simmer for a long time (I did about 16 hours, including running covered on low overnight), then strain through cheesecloth. If you have dogs, as I do, separate any tendon, marrow, or (very bland by the end of simmering) meat to add to their food. (Really, I give them anything that’s not cooked bone. They love a spoonful of meat goo in their food. Just don’t salt anything until after you’ve separated their portion out.)

The sauce is absolutely delicious. The meat was just a touch tough when this was first cooked – even on low, I wonder if my stovetop was boiling it too hard. It was more tender after cooling and reheating. I might transfer it to a slow cooker or a low oven next time.

If I were making this for other people, I’d trim off the connective tissue. As it was, I picked it out as I was eating it. (And gave it to my dogs.)

vegetable oil (in hindsight, I should have used some of the beef fat from the top of the broth)

2 beef shanks, mine were probably about 1 1/2 lbs in total

salt and pepper

granulated or ground garlic and onion

1 diced onion

2 stalks celery, diced

1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled but left whole

1/2 small can tomato paste (freeze the other half – it doesn’t keep well in the fridge)

beef broth

(I would have added wine if I’d had some open)

Season the shanks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. In a lidded pan that isn’t nonstick (it doesn’t brown as nicely), brown on both sides in vegetable oil. Add the vegetables and cook until they soften. If you’re using wine, add it and reduce by half. Add beef broth to halfway up the meat. Add the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 3-4 hours, checking occasionally to see if you need to add more broth. Toward the end, if you want to thicken the sauce, you can  remove the lid or whisk in a bit of guar or xantham gum. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.

I tasted the meat periodically during cooking. The meat tasted OK at an hour, but you’d have to trim it thoroughly, whereas if you let it cook longer the connective tissue breaks down.