Sunday, August 12, 2012

Scrumptious Braised Beef Shanks

It was hard to think of which paleo recipe to blog about first, but the fact that the first time I made this recipe the first word that popped into my mind was "orgasmic," decided it.  This recipe is from The Food Lover's Kitchen and it can be found here.

I started out by prepping the thyme and garlic:

Over all, this recipe is very simple but prepping the thyme leaves was tedious.  Worth it, but tedious.  I used the method I've seen on cooking shows where you strip the leaves off of the stem by pulling the stem through your index finger and thumb.  That works for a majority of the stripping, but invariably you get stems that just break or have small shoots.  I don't like wasting ingredients, so I probably made it more difficult than it could be if you just ignore the small shoots.  I would not let this dissuade you from making this recipe.

Next, I dutifully followed steps 2 and 3 of the recipe: the rinsing, drying and seasoning of the shanks.  I then browned my beef shanks in my cast iron skillet: both sides.

I then sauteed the garlic and thyme and added some home made beef broth.  I've not seen the brand of broth mentioned in the recipe in stores that I frequent, but can say, since I started making my own beef and chicken broth- the flavor of store bought just cannot compare.

I poured the broth/garlic/thyme over the shanks in a glass baking dish and topped the shanks with  the remaining smashed garlic and thyme sprigs.  I'd post a picture of this but it looks remarkably like the finished product.  I carefully covered the dish with parchment paper and foil.  This is not difficult to do and I imagine its to keep the moisture in the dish.  I then dutifully waited for 2 hours.

Here are the shanks right out of the oven.  The aroma from this dish was amazing!

The meat was super tender and moist.  Truly a treat to eat!

Cost and Ease of Finding Ingredients:  

I think this is a pretty accessible recipe cost/ingredient wise.  I used grass-fed beef shanks from Whole Foods. and they were priced at $6.99/pound.  Whenever I shop the Whole Foods Grass-Fed beef section, I can tell when a cut of beef has become popular as the price will shoot up $1 - $2.  Most non-steak cuts start at $5.99/pound and the shanks used to be at that level.  If you do not have a Whole Foods, I've seen shanks at my Big Box Grocery Store: HEB but they were grain fed.  Both my big box grocery and whole foods had fresh thyme.  If you've not used parchment paper in your cooking, you can find it next to the foil at the grocery store.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!  This is an easy great tasting main course.  I have made it a few times now and had consistently great results.  Due to the cooking time, it's a weekend dish for me, but totally worth it!