Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Beef shanks.....a worthwhile cheaper cut
Looking for a way to have grass-finished beef on a budget? Ask around for beef shanks. They are often cheaper than other cuts but oh, so worthwhile. I think they should be much more expensive (shhh, don't tell any farmer that I said that!) because you get meaty soup bones, marrow bones, and plenty of meat for several meals, all in one package.
Simply place the shanks in a shallow roasting pan.
Roast in a hot oven (400 F maybe?) until nicely browned, about a half hour or so.
Place them in a large stock bot and cover with filtered water (or well water if not on city water) and a glug of raw, organic apple cider vinegar.
I simmered them for a full day (24 hours) and then shut off the heat. The shanks were carefully fished out and put onto plates to cool, and the broth was strained into another pot.
After carefully removing all the meat to a bowl and refrigerating it, I poked the marrow out of the bones and added it to the broth. This will make the broth cloudy but marrow is very nutritious and not to be wasted. Some people like to eat it as is, or spread it on crusty bread, but I prefer it mixed back into the broth. It is a texture thing for me.
Now I had enough meat and broth to make a large stew that served us both generously for 4 meals, plus some meat to use in a fifth meal along with more of the broth. There is still a bit of broth left over for another use, even just for cooking veggies...but if you do, be sure to drink the broth afterwards, as it is rather nutrient dense and very, very good for you.
For more ideas on how to use beef shanks, look for recipes for Osso Bucco, Italian for bone with hole. It is another simple, yet elegant dish, perfect for fall and winter.
Run right out and find yourself some beef shanks! They are a great way to stretch your budget and still have the best food.