Thursday, February 19, 2009

Braised Beef Shanks

Beef Shanks were had for $2.69/# at Alwan's in Peoria; not a bad deal, I thought. I can't actually take complete credit for this recipe, as I used a demi-glace made by Chef Kevin. His sauce included dried cherries, wild mushrooms, Westphalian Ham, and cherry brandy. I was fortunate enough to obtain some of this sauce that was leftover from an event, and I thought it would make a great braising liquid. It did. Nice work, Kevin!

First, I dredged the beef shanks in some properly seasoned flour, and browned them on all sides. I placed them in my pre-heated crock pot, and sautéed some carrots, onions, and garlic in the pan. I deglazed with a touch of Merlot, reduced, and added the leftover sauce. That was brought to a boil and added to the awaiting beef shanks. The sauce nearly covered them. I lidded up the crock pot, set it on high, and braised for about 2 hours.

Fortunately, most of the marrow remained in the bone and I was able to slather it on some crusty bread. Absolutely divine. I served the beef shanks over a "Risotto ala Milanese", made from Trader Joe's Saffron and some Asiago Cheese from Walnut, Illinois (also available at Alwan's). So it wasn't exactly traditional risotto, but it was a damn good substitute.

In any case, I could die a very happy man having never consumed another filet mignon. Braise, Baby, Braise!

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