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Cheap Cuts + Patience

Cheap Cuts + Patience

Head to the Butcher Counter and purchase something DIFFERENT.  Ask your butcher for a recommendation on a piece of beef that includes a bone and requires a lower temperature longer cook time to be tender and delicious.  Trust me, the patience you'll need is a small price to pay for just how stunning dinner will be.

Here, we just couldn't resist beef shank.  What's particularly special about these pieces, however, is that they are cross cut (like we see in traditional osso buco).  This gives the braising liquid access to the marrow of the bone...and THAT is where the magic happens.  This recipe is very simple, and can be tweaked to your taste and style.  Here's what we did:

TIE the beef pieces with butcher's twine tight to maintain shape;

SALT the pieces of beef generously and DREDGE in flour;

HEAT a large saucepan with some grape seed oil on medium-high;

SEAR the beef thoroughly on all sides;

REMOVE beef and DRAIN off excess oil;

REDUCE burner temperature to medium;

ADD chopped carrot, chopped onion, smashed garlic and fresh herbs and COOK until the vegetables start to brown;

ADD the beef pieces and 1 large can of diced tomatoes, several quarts of beef stock, fresh ginger, bay leaf, tomato paste, harissa paste, black pepper and other seasoning to taste;

BRING braising liquid to a boil;

PLACE in a 225° oven for 4 hours;

COOL overnight uncovered in refrigerator;

SKIM all fat on surface thoroughly;

REMOVE beef carefully, "clean" off residual broth and vegetable pieces and SET aside;

STRAIN the braising liquid several times until pure;

BOIL braising liquid, uncovered, until reduced by 75%;

COOL reduced liquid thoroughly until consistency is gelatinous (color should be a deep red-orange);

for service, in a cast iron pan, REHEAT a cup of gelatinous braising liquid gently to warm and PLACE one of the set-aside beef pieces in the hot liquid;

HEAT gently until thoroughly warmed;

SERVE over rice/gnocchi/noodles with a traditional gremolata and something fresh, crispy and green.