Beef shank recipe contain a high proportion of collagen that breaks down into gelatin when slowly cooked. This gives the meat a succulent texture that falls right off the bone. Braising also allows the beef to fully absorb all the complex flavors of the sauce. The end result is a dish so tender and delicious, that it will become an instant family favorite.
Transform Humble Ingredients into a Hearty Meal With Our Beef Shank Recipe
Don’t be fooled by the economical price of beef shanks. With little effort, this braise extracts maximum flavor from a relatively tough cut of meat. The lengthy cooking tenderizes the beef while melding it with aromatic vegetables, tomatoes, and bold red wine. Serve ladled over soft polenta or mashed potatoes for the ultimate cold-weather comfort food.
Ingredients You Will Need For Beef Shank Recipe
- 3 pounds beef shanks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
- Large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with lid
- Wooden spoon for stirring
- Liquid measuring cup
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Mixing bowls
- Slotted spoon
- Meat thermometer
- Pat the beef shanks dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. This helps the meat brown evenly.
- Peel and slice the carrots and celery into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Mince the garlic.
- Roughly chop the onion.
- Open the can of diced tomatoes and drain off most of the liquid.
- Measure out the broth, wine, and herbs.
- Chop the parsley for garnish.
- Heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Brown the seasoned beef shanks on all sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Work in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pot.
- Transfer shanks to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more until fragrant.
- Pour in the red wine and cook 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Stir in the drained diced tomatoes, beef broth, thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Return the seared beef shanks to the pot along with any accumulated juices.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer covered for 2 1/2 – 3 hours until beef is fall-apart tender. Turn the shanks every 45 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
- Use red or white wine vinegar instead of wine.
- Add mushrooms, pearl onions, or potatoes during the last hour of cooking.
- Stir in 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste for a deeper, richer flavor.
- Use bone-in short ribs instead of shanks.
- Replace some of the beef broth with an amber ale or dark beer.
- Add a dash of red pepper flakes for extra heat.
Tips and Tricks
- Choose shanks similar in size so they cook evenly.
- Browning the meat well builds great flavor. Don’t rush this step.
- Skim off excess surface fat before slow cooking for a clearer sauce.
- Check tenderness early to avoid overcooking. Meat should shred easily when done.
- Letting the braise cool and refrigerating overnight allows flavors to develop even further. Simply reheat and adjust the seasoning before serving.
- Creamy polenta is the perfect base to soak up the luscious sauce.
- Fluffy mashed potatoes or buttery egg noodles also pair well.
- Steamed greens, glazed carrots, or roasted vegetables balance the richness.
- For rustic slices of bread, opt for crusty baguette, ciabatta, or thick slices of sourdough.
One serving provides:
- Calories: 412
- Fat: 18g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Protein: 44g
This hearty, protein-packed dish will keep you satisfied for hours. The collagen-rich shanks support joint health while the tomatoes and wine provide immune-boosting antioxidants.
Storage and Leftovers
Properly stored, leftovers will be kept for 3-4 days refrigerated. The sauce may thicken upon standing. Simply reheat gently with a splash of beef broth or water to loosen. This braise also freezes well for 2-3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Is meat not tender enough?
- Continue simmering until fork tender, checking every 20-30 minutes. Add extra liquid if the sauce reduces too much.
- Is the sauce too thin?
- Remove the lid and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook for 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.
- Do flavors seem flat?
- Add more salt, pepper, herbs, and red wine vinegar to brighten the flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What cut of beef works best? Look for meaty shanks with lots of connective tissue. Chuck arm or round shanks are ideal.
- Can I use a slow cooker instead? Yes, follow the recipe up until the simmering step. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- What sides go well with braised beef shanks? Buttery mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, and egg noodles are perfect matches. Roasted vegetables also pair nicely.
- Can I prepare ahead? Definitely! This braise actually benefits from being made 1-2 days in advance. Simply reheat gently before serving.
A Hearty Meal on Busy Weeknights
As a busy mom, quick and hearty dinners like beef shank braise keep my family satisfied throughout the hectic workweek. The leftover portions make tasty meals for later in the week. I hope this cozy recipe finds a permanent place in your meal rotation like it has in mine!
Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy to discuss one of my favorite fall dishes. Now go fire up that Dutch oven and dig into melt-in-your-mouth beefy goodness. You won’t regret it!
Ready to Dig Into Tender, Beefy Bliss?
Get the full recipe below and be sure to let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment! I love hearing about your cooking adventures.
For more easy dinner inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest @americansrecipes. Happy braising!