I have no regrets about being vegetarian for seven years, but I do feel that I’ve paid my dues. While I’ve made many a unique stir fry and can turn almost anything into hummus, my knowledge of cooking with meat is severely pale in comparison to my vegetable skills. To be honest, I’m terrified of cooking meat lest I overcook it into a leathery stump or become ill from consuming raw meat. It’s an expensive practice to perfect.
At the moment, I’m just under three weeks away from exploring the meaty bounty that is Bacon Fest in Chicago. That’s right, little miss former vegetarian has a media pass to bacon fest. Get ready for some porky porno…
Anyway, I need to prep my body for the unholy amounts of pork belly that I will consume in a short couple of hours so that I don’t go into shock. Time to conquer my fears and cook myself some meat. This is why I got my ass to The Butcher & Larder and left with almost 4 lbs of bone marrow stuffed beef shank.
The Learning Curve
- Bone-marrow stuffed beef shank isn’t the easiest thing to come by, but get when you can. While the beef cooks, the marrow melts down, moistening the meat and saturating the vegetables. It’s incredible, but it’s not necessary. If you go with any old shank, be sure to tie it up and add 2 C of broth // stock to compensate the liquid.
- You can adjust the vegetables and aromatics to suit your needs, but be sure to keep them on the larger side to prevent burning.
- You do not need to brown the meat. I like that crisp, golden edge, but it’s not a necessary step.
- 1 3-4 lb beef shank, room temperature
- 1 T canola oil
- 2 onions, thicky sliced
- 6 tomatoes, halved
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 T mustard
- 750 ml beer
- 2 C beef stock (if not using a marrow stuffed beef shank)
- S & P
- Skillet, preheated
- Roast Pan
Preheat oven to 275 ° F. Add oil to skillet and heat over high. Brown shank on all sides. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Whisk together mustard, beer and stock, if using, and add to the pan. The liquid should come up almost halfway up the shank. Place in the oven and set your timer for 4 hours
Once the timer goes off, check the meat to see if it’s falling apart. If you’re not digging it yet, continue cooking at 30 minute intervals. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Eat it on sandwiches, with eggs or however you choose. I served it with quinoa and roasted char salad.
This is probably the easiest preparation for any meat.
As for the plating… well, I’ll get there.