A Drew’s Clues Throwback: Beef Shank Ragu

by firsthandfoods on May 15, 2014

Those of you who did the Meat Box way back in January 2012 will remember this tasty ragu recipe. It got rave reviews from several of you, and we’re told it has become a go to recipe for many that keeps you on the hunt for beef shank. That unique cut is making an appearance in our current round of boxes so thought we’d dig up this classic for you. Drew’s original post is quoted below.

We also had a food blogger in our Meat Box community back then, who did her own take on a beef shank ragu. Her recipe calls for italian sausage, which of course you can get from us as an add on. Check it out here – http://yearofhealthierliving.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/day-23-beautiful-braised-beef-shanks/

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From Drew

“A really great use of any tough cut of beef, in this case the shank, is to braise it in tomato sauce for a pasta ragu.  Here’s a method that I use:

Cut the meat off the bone of two shanks.  You could braise it on the bone, but cutting it off prior to cooking makes it a little easier to work with and allows you to easily get rid of any unwanted material.  As you are cutting the meat off the bone, trim away any particularly tough connective tissue or silver skin.  Save the bones and roast them for their marrow.  Cut the meat into bite size pieces.  Season with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour.  Brown in oil, preferably in a dutch oven or any pot that you can cover and put in the oven.  Once thoroughly browned, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate with paper towels.  In the pan there should be some fat left as well as all the brown bits created while browning.  Add to this half a diced onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced, a carrot peeled and diced, a stalk of celery cleaned and diced, a couple bay leaves and a healthy pinch of red chili flakes.  Cook the vegetables over medium eat until they start to soften.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Return the shank meat to the pan and cover with a can of peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand.  If this isn’t quite enough liquid add some beef or chicken stock if you have it.  You could use water or red wine too.  Bring to a simmer, cover and put the pot into the oven.  Cook at 300 degrees for about 2 hours.  Check occasionally to make sure that there’s enough liquid to cover the shank or to see if the meat is ready.  You are looking for it to be extremely tender and almost falling apart.   Once it reaches this point return it to the stove and taste for seasoning.   You could finish with some fresh basil or parsley and would be perfect served with a hearty pasta like rigatoni or over some creamy polenta.  Top with some grated pecorino or parmesan.  A meat ragu like this is perfect to do ahead of time.  It will hold up in the fridge fine and will actually improve in flavor if it sits for a day or so.  Buon apetito!”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Eugene Oddone November 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

So, I finally cooked this recipe with the shanks I froze from eons ago. It was absolutely delicious. My dad was Italian, and I grew up with his ragu, also wonderful, but he died before I really started to cook. Now I have a new one. The shank is a perfect meat for this.
Thanks.

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