Monday, January 27, 2014

Beef Shanks with Vegetables

Over the past two years, I have developed a fondness for a cut of meat called the Beef Shank. The meat requires slow roasting to develop the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that it is capable of, but the wait is definitely worth it. This recipe was actually inspired after watching an episode of a television cooking show in which the chef created a delectable stewed beef over mashed potatoes. Seeing the mouth-watering meal made me want to recreate the recipe with what I had on hand in my pantry. If you happen to not have beef shanks available to you, this meal can be made with regular stewed beef but I think the wonderful flavor imparted by the bone-in meat will be missing; however, the results will still be amazing! Additionally, you can use baby portobello or white button mushrooms. I actually used a combination of the two and it was perfect.
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
2 Pounds Beef Shanks
1/3 Cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
1 Large Yellow Onion, Coarsely Chopped
4 Carrots, Cut in Thirds
8 Ounces Mushrooms, Quartered
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Dried Sage
3/4 Cup Merlot
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Frozen Peas

1. Preheat a large Dutch Oven with canola oil over Medium High heat. While the pan becomes hot, combine the flour and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place each of the beef shanks into the flour mixture, shaking the excess off each side. Once the oil is hot, place the floured beef into the pan. Allow the meat to brown before turning, approximately 3 minutes. Turn and allow to sear for another 3 minutes. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
2. Toss the onion, garlic, carrots, mushroom and remaining seasonings into the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrap the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow the vegetables to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Use the merlot to deglaze the bottom of the pan. All of the flavor on the bottom needs to be worked up and made part of the broth. Add the water.
4. Return the meat to pan, pressing to partially submerge.
5. Cover and bake in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for 2 hours.
6. Remove from the oven and add the frozen peas. Cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
7. Carefully remove the bones from the pot, scraping the marrow into the broth. Using your spoon, gently break the tender meat into bit sized pieces.
8. Serve over your choice of rice, mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, or mashed parsnips. 

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