It was supposed to be braised lamb shank but $7 per pound for a frozen thigh bone with a small knob of meat on the end is rank stupidity.

Braised Beef Shank
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
  • 2 Beef shanks, one per person.
  • 1 750 ml bottle pinot noir
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 springs fresh thyme, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lemon's zest, in large strips
  • Vegetable oil for sauteing
  • ½ onion
  • 3 oz shallots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • ½ tsp each dried thyme and rosemary, or 2 sprigs each fresh
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp whole cloves
  • Beef broth, indeterminate amount
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Take the beef shanks and marinate them in the next seven ingredients (wine through lemon zest) for at least 5 hours.
  2. Chop the onion, shallots, celery, carrots, garlic fine or pulse in the food processor until very finely chopped.
  3. Make a bouquet garni with the rest of the herbs, bay leaves and cloves.
  4. Remove shanks from the marinade and thoroughly pat dry. Strain the wine and save for later.
  5. Heat oil in an oven safe vessel, such as a dutch oven, that can hold the shanks. Brown the shanks on all sides.
  6. Set the shanks aside and add the finely chopped vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and saute until caramelization begins, at least 10 min.
  7. Add tomato paste and saute 3 min.
  8. Add reserved wine and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by ½ - ⅔.
  9. Put shanks back in the pot, and add beef broth until both shanks are submerged completely.
  10. Heat oven to 350 F, cover the shanks and cook in oven for 2.5 - 3 hours, checking every hour to make sure they are still completely submerged.
  11. Taste and add salt and pepper and sugar if needed after 2 hours.
  12. Cook them uncovered for the last 30 min.


I modified this recipe. I had a lot of trouble sauteing the veggies for 20 minutes without burning them and decided I didn’t want to do it, and to hell with the extra nuances of flavor I might be sacrificing. The end result had a spectacular sauce, and the beef was, well, beef. We don’t like beef very much in our household.

It would have been much better with lamb. And apricots. Sob.