Braising beef shanks over low, slow heat will have them falling off the bone and melting in your mouth.
Shank is the go-to cut for braised dishes highly coveted by foodies and professional chefs. Shank comes from the leg portion of the animal and is a lean cut (think about what our cows do all day: stand, walk, graze, and walk some more.) With a longer cooking technique to break down the meat and draw out the natural marrow, shank becomes a celebrated entree.
Drawn from the forefront of the steer just below the brisket, the ‘Shank’ – as it stands – is known to be the horizontal cut (between 1-2 inches) of the front two legs. Naturally lean, Shank contains lean meat, muscle strands and tendons surrounding a bone with marrow at the center.
Shank loves to be simmered for hours, so that it’s meat becomes fork-tender, falling off the bone easily. It’s wonderful in stews and famous for Italian OssoBuco and Goulasz (Hungarian Stew). And don’t overlook the marrow at the center in the bone! Spread it on toast and top it with some sea salt, or use it in soups or stocks for sauces. The flavor profile is a unique ‘gamey’ taste that reflects the cow’s active lifestyle. Consider balancing with carrots to add a hint of sweetness.