Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A sort of beef daube

I picked up a couple of beef shanks at the farmers' market: nice, free-range, happy cows locally and humanely raised, fed, and butchered.

Beef shanks have to be cooked for a long while so they are falling-off-the-bone tender. I decided the lovely beef shanks needed to be prepared in the fashion that is a cross between a beef daube, usually chunks of beef, and osso bucco, the classic Italian preparation for bone-in veal shanks. Daube is a French beef stew made with wine, garlic, herbs and various other things.

I browned the shanks in a tablespoon or so of butter and removed them to a plate. Then I sauted in more butter (you could us olive oil) chopped onions, chopped carrots, and 4 or 5 cloves of chopped garlic until golden. I put the shanks back in the pan and added half a glass or so of red wine and I let it boil for a minute. Next I added enough water (you could use beef stock or something similar) for the liquid to come right up to the top of the shanks. I threw in a couple of sprigs of rosemary for good measure. Once it came to a boil, I turned down the heat to very low, covered the pot, and let it simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours.

I served the daube with some fingerling potatoes, also from the market, that I cut in half lenthwise and fried in olive oil. MMMM! Both were tasty.

Slow-cooked beef is my favorite way to eat beef. A long, slow braise can render the least expensive cuts of beef absolutely delicious!


Lizzy said...


red_red_wine said...

I heard, not only should you get free range, but grass fed beef.

Kelly said...

Yes, grass fed. As I said in the post, happy cows humanely raised and fed. Anything other than grass fed is rather questionable.