Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Braised beef shank

This richly flavored dish is often served at celebratory occasions in the Barajas family, whose roots are in the Mexican state of Michoacán.

Executive Chef Toby Barajas
Savory Café, Woodland

Print Recipe

To print this recipe, choose a print size:



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


Follow us on: Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Pinterest