Recipe: Port Wine Braised Beef Shank

This will undoubtedly become a family favorite...and the fragrance as it cooks will fill your house with anticipation. The eating will bring appreciation. Combine those and you have memories that last a lifetime. I know - I and my 9 siblings still recall those great aromas that filled our house every night.  Thanks, Mom.

Have you noticed the beef and pork shanks showing up in your monthly coolers? The shanks represent our continuing effort to introduce heritage cuts back into the American kitchen. Shanks fell out of style to a great degree because they require a degree of cooking skill and we just got too busy to develop those skills. Harumph I say to that. Let’s get back in the kitchen and learn - the rewards are great, the satisfaction immeasurable, both for the cook and the eaters.
Here’s a tested recipe for either beef or pork shanks (you may want to substitute sherry for the port if you have pork shanks).

Port Wine Braised Beef Shank

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 to 3 lbs beef shank
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Port Wine Vegetable Stock, to cover
  • Olive Oil, for searing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Watercress as a garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place a large dutch oven or stock-pot with a tight fitting lid over medium high heat. Season both sides of beef generously with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to pot and swirl to coat. Place Beef shank in pan and cook for 2-4 minutes per side, or until a deep, rich crust is formed.
  2. Toss in onions, garlic and Italian seasoning. Pour wine over shank and shake pan vigorously. Add stock until beef is barely visible. Press vegetables down with spoon. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 4 to 5 hours, or until beef is fork-tender.
  3. Test for seasoning (Chances are you’ll need to add a good bit of salt and pepper at this point) and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Serve over rice, topped with just a bit of watercress, if desired.

JVF