This recipe works with veal, short ribs and pot roasts. Could possibly use lamb shanks too, but I got these beef shanks at Whole Paycheck. *Note to self* When you ask the butcher for 2 beef shanks, inspect each one. I see that one is a bit more AHEM bony than meaty. Oh well. Bone=Flavor.
Every village in Italy has their own OB recipe—this one comes from East Friendswood, Texas
I have 1.74 lbs of beef shanks. I ready my mirapois which is simply equal amounts finally chopped shallots (or onions), celery and carrots making about 1 cup. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet or dutch oven heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of unsalted butter. Add the seasoned shanks and brown well on both sides; remove to plate and keep warm.
Add the mirapois (fancy word for 3 chopped veggies) to the skillet. Also note, the lil’ pink shallots are much milder than onions so if ya wanna be BOLD use a regular onion. Cook a bit-4-5 minutes- and then add about a tablespoon of chopped garlic and cook a minute or so. At this point you can add 2/3 cup tomato puree and 2/3 cup chicken stock or red wine.
I like the red wine simply because if it’s good enough to drink….it’s good enough to cook with *thanks to Justin Wilson*. Bring to a simmer and add a sprig of (fresh) rosemary and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (OMG-my favorite) and a bay leaf. Add the browned beef. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.
Now-*if you wish*-nuke 3/4 measuring cup water for 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave. Remove and add .30 oz. dried porcini mushrooms to the water. Set aside.
After cooking the meat on low about 45 minutes-1 hour on stove top, turn off. Preheat oven to 300*. Chop porcini mushrooms, which by now should be nice and plump. Reserve mushroom water. Add wine or stock to mushroom water to make at least 1 cup total. Add mushrooms and liquid to skillet, stir and cover. Bake at least 1 hour in oven. Remove to stove top.
NOW-you may serve the way it is—with polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, etc. I like to serve mine over a mashed/pureed cauliflower. Garnish with that fab organic chopped Italian parsley I love, or even some fresh chopped basil. Grated lemon rind sprinkled over is good too. Very rich, very good. Enjoy!