A mouth-watering hearty dish made with one of the most underrated cuts! This beef shank recipe is deceptively easy to make, using simple ingredients.
Ever tried cooking with beef shanks before? When cooked correctly, they can yield fall-off-the-bone meat that simply melts in your mouth.
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What are beef shanks used for
Beef shanks are a lean yet tough cut of meat that cooks well in stews, braised dinners, and dishes that take a long time to cook.
Veal shanks are very similar to beef shanks, though they come from younger cattle.
Why this beef shank recipe will be a winner:
- Affordable. Shanks are one of the cheapest cuts of beef and can be found at any basic grocery store or butcher.
- Easy to make. You only need one Dutch oven or soup pot to make this dish.
- Healthy. Protein, vegetables, and a low sodium broth, this recipe has it all.
- Naturally gluten free. Beef shanks are a fantastic addition to gluten free and even low carb diet.
What we love about these beef shanks is that they also work with veal shanks. Both can be used interchangeably and yield almost exact results!
This recipe is very simple and besides the beef and a few pantry vegetables, there isn’t very much else that goes into it. Here is what you’ll need:
- Beef shanks. I use 2-3 inch thick shanks for this recipe. You can use veal shanks too. Choose cuts of meat that have nice marbling.
- Onion, celery, and carrot. Chopped vegetables to create a flavor base for the dish.
- Tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes create a hearty sauce. Canned crushed tomatoes will also work.
- Beef stock. To make the sauce more flavorful. Chicken stock will work too.
- White wine. Use a dry light-bodied wine for this recipe. Cooking in wine helps enhance the flavor of the dish and effectively melts the fat of the veal shanks.
- Flour. You will need all-purpose flour to dredge and brown the shanks. Doing this helps create a richer flavor. You can skip this step if you are trying to eliminate carbs.
- Olive oil. To saute the vegetables.
- Herbs. Fresh thyme and bay leaves are the two herbs you will need to perfect the flavor of this dish.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to cook beef shanks
This recipe is incredibly simple, and the Dutch oven takes care of the entire cooking process.
Step 1- Prep the meat. Start by pat drying the shanks with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Tie kitchen twine around the meat to secure it to the bone. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour.
Step 2- Brown the meat. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven pot. When the oil is hot, shake off the excess flour from the beef shanks and add them to the pan. Brown them evenly on all sides, then remove the shanks from the pot.
Step 3- Cook the vegetables. Add diced onions, carrots, and celery sticks to the same pot. Saute for a few minutes and add the sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 4- Continue cooking the shanks. Add the white wine to the cooked vegetables along with the shanks. Let everything simmer, then cover the pot with the lid and place it in a preheated oven for approximately 2 hours.
Step 5- Remove from the oven and serve. When the shanks are fork-tender, remove the Dutch pot from the oven. Cut off the kitchen twine and discard it. Put one veal shank on a serving plate and pour some of the sauce on it. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Deglaze the pan. When you add the white wine, scrape off any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. These food particles add immense flavor to the dish.
- Serve shanks with something creamy. This rich and flavorful stew is perfect served on a bed of mashed cauliflower potatoes, polenta, and risotto.
- Use tomato paste. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use a small amount of tomato paste instead to build a rich tomato flavor. I find one tablespoon to be plenty.
- Adjust the cooking time. The time the shanks need to become fork tender may slightly vary depending on different factors. Check the texture of the shanks before removing them from the oven and give them more time to cook if needed.
To store: Place leftovers in a shallow container and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To freeze: Once the shanks have cooled to room temperature, place them in a shallow container and store them in the freezer for up to two months.
Reheating. Reheat shanks in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or in a small saucepan.
Frequently asked questions
If you are aiming for fall-off-the-bone tender beef shanks, cook them in a hearty sauce for 3 to 6 hours. Low and slow cooking is the key to turning tough shank meat into something tender and juicy. Cooking the shanks in wine helps further tenderize the meat.
Frying beef shanks is not the best way to cook them as the meat will remain tough and chewy. Instead, fry the shanks lightly to give them color and extra flavor, and continue to cook them on low heat for a few hours.
More beef recipes to try
Beef Shank Recipe
- Pat dry the beef shanks to remove any excess moisture. Secure the meat to the bone with kitchen twine. Season each shank with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess.
- In a Dutch oven pot, add oil and place it over high heat. Once hot, Add the beef shanks into the pan and brown all sides, about 3 minutes each. Remove the shanks from the pot.
- In the same pot add onion, carrot and celery and saute until translucent. Add fresh thyme, bay leaves and tomato. Cook for 10 minutes then add white wine, beef stock and return the shanks in the pot. Once it boils, remove the pot from the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours until fork tender.
- Carefully remove the cooked shanks from the pot and cut off the kitchen twine and discard. Pour all the sauce from the pot over the shanks and serve immediately.
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