This morning I presented the following recipe for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host, Nadia Kidwai. The beef shank is a beautiful product, full of flavour, and this recipe is easy to prepare. The trick to this and most recipes, is to prepare your Mise en Place, or, have everything ready to go.
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces Beef Shank (I used Wildfire Farms and Manitoba Beef shanks available at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market)
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
1 head garlic, cut horizontally through the middle
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth (I had homemade chicken broth on hand instead)
1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed (I used 6 frozen garden grown Roma Tomatoes)
Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the meat, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are large and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned meat to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You're going to use that to create your sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Using the same pot, saut� the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the meat back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the meat tender and nearly falling off the bone.
Remove bay leaves.