Everyday Braised Beef Shank

by Kyle Cooper
Posted on

With a little time and planning, you can have a cheap and nutritious meal that will taste like you spend days making it. This can be scaled up or down depending on people and appetites.

Serves: 2-4
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 6-10 hrs slow cooker; 35 mins pressure cooker.
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon  

2 packs BRD Beef Shanks; about 2 pounds
2 T High Temp Cooking Oil; avocado, tallow, etc.
1 cup water plus water to cover
1/2 cup BRD Demi-Glace Base; 1/2 of small jar, 1/4 of big jar. 

Side Options:
Mashed Potatoes
Rice
Grits or Polenta
Toasted Sandwich Rolls for French Dip Style Sandwiches.
Roasted Vegetables with Herbs
Braised Vegetables for Pot Roast
Mixed Green Salad 


Pairing knife
Chef’s Knife
Cutting Board
Instant Pot
1 large plate or bowl
Tongs
Mesh Strainer
Large sauce pot; depending on method
Heavy sauté pan; depending on method 

 

Using an Instant Pot (IP)

  • Set IP to Sauté - High Heat and let heat up.
  • Open Shank packages and arrange on a plate. Dry well with paper towels and salt generously just before you place in the IP.
  • Once preheated, add cooking oil and let begin to smoke.
  • Add shanks, salted side down, and sear hard on both sides, about 5 mins. Dry and salt the second side once in the IP. The drier the meat, the deeper the sear, the more flavor your final product will have.
  • Once seared, remove to plate to let rest.
  • Allow IP to come back to temperature (about 1 min) and add the cup of water.  After the initial steam and hissing subsides, use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape off all the fond (burnt bits) from the bottom of the pot. They will dissolve into the cooking liquid and add deeper flavor to the final product. Also makes clean-up easier.
  • Add in the demi-glace base and mix into the water. 
  • Replace seared shanks and barely cover with water.

 

Slowcooker

  • Secure lid and set IP to Slow Cook function:

                  • High — 4-6 hrs.
                  • Med — 5-7 hrs.
                  • Low — 6-8 hrs.

  • Set the delay function according to your schedule. Give yourself an hour buffer between done cooking and serving.
  • Turn Keep Warm function off.

 

Pressure Cooker

  • Secure lid and set IP function to Pressure Cook function:

                  • High Pressure — 35 mins

  • Set the delay function according to your schedule. Give yourself an hour buffer between done cooking and serving.
  • Turn Keep Warm function off.

 

Using a Crockpot Style Slow Cooker

  • Set a heavy pan over med-high heat and let come to temperature.
  • Open Shank packages and arrange on a plate. Dry well with paper towels and salt generously just before you place into the hot pan.
  • Add cooking oil to pan and allow to just begin to smoke.
  • Add shanks salted side down and sear hard on both sides, about 5 mins. Dry and salt the second side once in the pan. The drier the meat, the deeper the sear, the more flavor your final product will have.
  • Once seared, remove to slow cooker to rest.
  • Allow pan to come back to temperature (about 1 min) and add the 1 cup of water.  After the initial steam and hissing subsides, use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape off all the fond (burnt bits) off the bottom of the pot. They will dissolve into the cooking liquid and and a deeper flavor to the final product. Also makes clean-up easier.
  • Add in the Demi-Glace base and mix into the water. Pour over shanks in the slow cooker, getting all of it.
  • Add water to barely cover shanks.
  • Replace lid and cook for 3-4 hrs. on high or 6-8 hrs. on low. Cooking times can vary per machine. Test by tasting.

 

Finishing Touches & Serving Suggestions for All Cooking Methods

Your shanks are done and ready to eat. If planned accordingly, you have an hour before you are ready to serve. You can eat right away or let it sit in it's juices to wait… OR… you use this time to prepare sides and get as fancy as you want. Here are some recommendations:

 

  • Remove cooked shanks from cooking liquid to a plate or bowl and set aside.
  • Strain cooking liquid into a medium sauce pan or into a bowl to be replaced into a rinsed out IP.
  • Set over medium heat and let reduce by up to half.
  • While reducing, start making your desired sides:
    • Boil then mash potatoes with some milk, butter, salt and chopped herbs. Top with braised shank and a couple spoon fulls of shank broth. Same with grits, rice and polenta.
    • Make rice by toasting first in a spoonful of the fat on top of the cooking liquid, then add the correct amount of liquid to rice as needed — using a 1:1 ratio of shank broth to water — then cook as directed. 
    • Cut some veggies (carrots, onions, broccoli, green beans, etc) and/or potatoes and spoon some of the fat from on top the cooking liquid over them and coat well. Add salt and roast at 425℉ for 15-25 mins, depending on the vegetable.
    • Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on both sides of a crusty sandwich roll and toast. Butter or oil works too, but mayo does the best job — Dip the roll toasted side down into the shank broth before topping with meat to make an awesome French Dip style sandwich.
    • Cut carrots, onions and potatoes into chunks and place into the reducing liquid for a quick pot roast with veggies that haven’t been turned to mush. Cook for at least 15 mins or until you like the texture. Magic!

 

No matter the final application, always return the resting beef shank to the reduced broth to warm back up and to collect some awesome flavor and juiciness before you serve.

 

 

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