The Prairie Homestead: A Guide to Preparing Beef Shank

Once every year to two years, we butcher a steer, which keeps our freezers stocked to capacity.

However, despite the fact that we've been doing this for quite some time, the same thing keeps single time

The hamburger and steaks always disappear first, leaving me with packages of cuts I have no idea what to do with.

That ever happen to you

Oh, I'm so sick of it. It's also rather humiliating. Also, I'm resolved to solve this issue permanently.

In light of this, allow me to introduce...

Recipes From the Cow Series  

Our hope is that this series of blog posts will be useful to you (and, yes, I, too, am trying to learn how to make the most of beef cuts that aren't as common in contemporary American diets, despite having many desirable qualities but often going unused because people aren't sure how to prepare them. make use of them in

However, they will no longer be waiting for rescue at the bottom of the freezer. For the simple reason that we intend to cook them into a delectable dish.

The first thing to go on the proverbial chopping block The beef shank, a stunning cut that is often overlooked.

Previously published articles from the Cow Cooks series:

Read this article for advice on preparing tender and flavorful short ribs.

To read about how to prepare a round steak, go here.

Shank refers to the area of the cow's leg above the hock or knee. Beef shank resembles a steak with a leg bone circle in each piece because it is sliced horizontally (often into 1-inch slices). (It's sometimes offered boneless, too.) You can also eat the marrow that's contained within the bone.

Most people are unfamiliar with or have a negative impression of this bone-surrounded, meat-only cut. However, with a few simple tweaks, beef shank can be a budget-friendly, healthy, and delicious meal.

Beef shank goes by many other names.

Fore shanks and hind (or rear) shanks are the two names for the cow leg parts that connect the front and back of the animal.

My neighborhood butcher calls beef shanks "soup bones" on the shelf. The beef rear shank is the most uniform in length and shape, so it is the one most butchers will sell you if you're looking for a shank.

Where Can I Get Beef Shank?

Beef shanks aren't always stocked at the supermarket, but you can always ask the butcher if they have any. It's not a popular cut in chain supermarkets because most customers don't know what to do with beef shanks and the low margins they generate due to the cut's low cost.
However, there are four beef shank cuts per cow, so it is often available and inexpensive at small farms, butcher shops, and even higher-end supermarkets.

how to cook beef shank

How Tender Are Beef Shanks?

Beef shank comes from the cow's lower extremities, so it is a tough, dry, and sinewy cut of meat. Cattle use their legs for a variety of tasks, so they have robust muscle tissue, connective tissue, bone, and joint structures.

If beef shanks are cooked for a very long time in a moist heat (for instance, by simmering them all day in a crock pot), they can become extremely tender, even spoon-ed-table tender. In this light, beef shank is best prepared by braising or slow cooking.

Is the Price of Beef Shanks High?

Beef shanks are typically inexpensive because they are so underappreciated. They offer a lot of bang for the buck considering how cheap they are because they are nutrient-dense (more on that below).

The Multipurposeness of Beef Shank

The versatility of beef shanks is constrained by their inherent toughness. To become tender and flavorful, they require a long, slow simmer in a wet heat source. That's why you'll find them in so many soup and stew recipes.
how to cook beef shank

The Basics of Braising a Beef Shank

The most crucial fact about beef shanks is that they need to be cooked slowly. To turn beef shanks from tough and chewy to tender and flavorful, you should plan on cooking them for at least 4 to 6 hours. (Or, to shorten the process, use a pressure cooker.) )

In contrast, beef shanks' inherent health benefits become more apparent when cooked slowly and at a low temperature. Because of the high mineral content of bone and cartilage, beef shanks develop a rich, robust flavor as they simmer or cook.

(There are those who say this section can have an unusually "gamey" or robust flavor. Certainly, it has more flavor than a regular burger, but I don't mind it at all. )

The beef, bone marrow (yes, bone marrow is edible AND good for you), and the bone are all salvageable after a long day in the slow cooker. ) and bone marrow gelatin

After preparing a beef shank dish (recipe suggestions below), set aside the bones to make a nutritious bone broth. In this article, I will share the most helpful advice I have learned about preparing beef bone broth.

Alternately, the shanks can be seared before being simmered in a stock for at least 12 hours; afterward, the meat can be removed from the bone, shredded, and used in other recipes.

Recipes for beef shanks

Don't throw away the bones; you can use them to make a nutritious beef bone broth.

Comparisons in a Hurry, Beef Shank Style:

  • Obtainability Rating: 5 (1 = easily accessible, 10 = extremely so)
  • 7 out of 10 for adaptability (1 being the most adaptable and 10 the least).
  • Cost: $2 (1 = dirt cheap, 10 = never except on rare occasions) )
  • Hardness scale: 8 (where 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest).

Well, it's time to get serious with you, the readers Your turn: share your go-to methods and beef shank recipes.

how to cook beef shank, cooking through the cow series

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