If you're looking to make a comforting, hearty meal, beef shank is an excellent choice. Known for its rich flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked properly, it's a favorite among home cooks and food enthusiasts alike. Let's dive into how you can create the perfect beef shank dish at home.

beef shank recipe

What is Beef Shank?

Beef shank comes from the leg portion of the cow and is known for its tough, sinewy texture. However, when slow-cooked or braised, it transforms into a tender, flavorful cut that's perfect for stews, soups, or a stand-alone entrée.


Before you start, gather the following high-quality ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of beef shank (bone-in)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Trim and Season

  • Trim Excess Fat: Using a sharp knife, carefully trim any excess fat from the beef shank. This helps prevent the dish from becoming too greasy.
  • Season Generously: Season the beef shank on all sides with salt and pepper. For extra depth of flavor, you can also add a sprinkle of garlic powder and onion powder.

Step 2: Brown the Beef

  • Heat Olive Oil: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the Shank: Add the beef shank to the pot, browning it on all sides. This should take about 4-5 minutes per side. Browning adds a delicious caramelized flavor to the meat.

Step 3: Sauté the Vegetables

  • Remove the Shank: Once browned, remove the beef shank from the pot and set it aside.
  • Sauté the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in the same pot until they become soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Deglaze the Pot

  • Add Red Wine: Pour in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits. These bits are packed with flavor!

Cooking Method

Step 1: Braise the Beef

  • Return the Shank to the pot, nestling it among the vegetables.
  • Add Broth and Tomato Paste: Pour in the beef broth and stir in the tomato paste until well combined.
  • Season with bay leaves, thyme, and additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Bring to a Simmer.

Step 2: Slow Cook

  • Cover the Pot and transfer to a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C).
  • Cook for 3-4 Hours or until the meat is fork-tender and falling off the bone.

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few ideas to complement your delicious beef shank:

  • Mashed Potatoes: Serve the beef shank over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Polenta: Another great option is creamy polenta, which pairs beautifully with the rich sauce.
  • Stew or Soup: Shred the meat and add it back to the broth and vegetables for a hearty stew or soup.

Tips and Tricks

  • Marinate Overnight: For even more flavor, marinate the beef shank with the seasonings and olive oil overnight.
  • Use a Slow Cooker: If you prefer, you can use a slow cooker instead of the oven. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Avoid Boiling: Always cook the beef shank at a low simmer to prevent the meat from becoming tough.


Cooking beef shank may seem daunting, but with the right techniques, you can create a restaurant-quality dish in your own kitchen. Give this recipe a try, and don't be afraid to experiment with different spices and sides to make it your own. Happy cooking!

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