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Braised beef shank

Recipe by:Executive Chef Toby Barajas
Savory Café, Woodland


  • 1 (4 1/2- to 5-lb.) beef shank
    2 tbsp. salt
    2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
    3 cloves
    Pinch of cinnamon
    4 to 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
    1 large onion, medium dice
    2 carrots, medium dice
    2 stalks celery, medium dice
    2 tomatoes, quartered
    1 cup red wine
    2 quarts beef stock
    2 to 3 bay leaves
    2 tbsp. flour
    2 tbsp. butter, softened
    2 to 3 tbsp. chopped parsley


Rinse shank, pat dry with paper towels and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grind spices together with a mortar and pestle, and rub mixture on shank 5 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat 2 to 3 tbsp. oil in a braising pan (Dutch oven), and sauté onion, carrots and celery about 5 minutes on high heat. Stir in tomatoes and wine, and let cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add shank, stock and bay leaves. Stock should cover 3/4 of the shank. Bring stock to a boil and wait 5 minutes. Remove any impurities, cover shank and place in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check shank halfway through cooking to ensure it doesn't dry out and to remove any impurities. Add more stock or water if needed. Shank is ready when meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.

Remove shank from liquid and let rest on a plate, covered with aluminum foil, while you make the sauce: Remove bay leaves from liquid and separate oil or fat. In a blender, blend all vegetables and liquid, then strain with a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Place flour and 2 tbsp. oil in a saucepan to make a roux. Add 1 cup strained liquid and whisk until roux is dissolved. Add another cup of liquid, bring to a boil, reduce heat and taste for seasoning. Sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Finish by whisking in butter. Serve sauce on the side or on top of the shank. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6 to 8

Photo: © 2019 Fred Greaves


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