Paprika Braised Beef Shank

This past week has been snowy and cold so when I saw a nice big piece of beef with a bone running through it, I couldn’t resist buying it. To be honest, I didn’t even know what cut the beef was, but I had visions of a rich marrow-thickened gravy in my head.

Instead of doing a classic braised beef with carrots, celery, and herbs, I decided to take more of a spanish route with tomatoes and paprika. I have always loved the acidity of tomatoes with the richness of beef and I think it will be especially good with the addition of bone marrow.

In the end, I was very pleased with this dish. The sauce was rich, but the tomato kept it from being too heavy. It’s also a really low maintenance dish since you just leave it alone to slowly bubble away, the longer the better. Beef shanks also make great leftovers since you can just gently re-heat in the cooking gravy and it will stay nice and delicate instead of toughening up. Best of all, this was a very decadent dish made from a very inexpensive cut of beef. A perfect winter meal!Serves 4-6

  • 1 kg beef shank
  • flour for dusting
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ~ 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (you can used diced tomatoes in a pinch)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. In a large cast iron dish or stock pot with a tight fitting lid that is big enough to fit the beef shank, heat 1 tbsp of the oil.
  2. As the oil heats, dust the shank with flour, salt, and pepper. You want all the moisture to be taken up by the flour. I used rice flour because of it’s fine grind and because it’s wheat free.
  3. Once the oil is hot, brown all sides of the beef. Don’t be shy, let the beef reach quite a dark brown. This will give more flavour to the gravy. Note that I had to use a frying pan to brown my meat because I don’t have a pot quite big enough. To make sure I still got all the browning goodness, I deglazed the frying pan with wine and poured that in with the tomato sauce.
  4. When the shank is nice and brown, remove it from the heat and set aside.
  5. Turn the heat down to low.
  6. As the oil cools, dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  7. Add the onion and garlic to the pan with the last tbsp of oil.
  8. Cook until the onions are cooked through and translucent.
  9. Turn the heat back up to high and add about 1/4 cup of red wine. We do this to get all the flavour from the browning off the bottom of the pan. As the wine bubbles away, scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up all the flavour.
  10. When the wine has reduced to a few tablespoons and all the alcohol as burned off, turn the heat back down to low.
  11. Pour in the paprika and give it a good stir.
  12. Place the beef shank back into the dish.
  13. Pour the tomato juice over the beef.
  14. Add enough wine to completely cover the meat.
  15. Lid your pot.
  16. Slowly cook the shank on low heat for 5 hours basting whenever you remember, about every 30 minutes. The goal is to slowly cook the beef until it falls off the bone and the bone marrow comes out to create a thick gravy. To test if the beef is done, pull at part of it with a fork. If the beef starts to fall away, it’s done, if not, let it cook for another 30mins.
  17. Half an hour before eating, take the beef out of the gravy and allow it to rest covered with tin foil and a tea towel to keep it warm.
  18. Serve with some mashed potatoes, lots of the cooking gravy and enjoy :)
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