Garlic-Braised Beef Shanks
- Ready In:
- 4hrs 25mins
- 6 beef shanks (1 1/2-inch-thick, 6 lbs)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 3⁄4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (14 fl oz)
- 2 cups water
- 4 large heads of garlic, 1/4 inch of root end cut off and discarded to expose cloves
- 2 slices fresh lemon zest (4-inch-long)
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 turkish bay leaves (or 1 California)
- 3 celery ribs, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 3 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (to taste)
- parchment paper
- celery leaves
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pat shanks dry and rub all over with salt and pepper.
- Dredge shanks in flour, turning to coat. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown shanks on all sides in 3 batches, adding 1/2 tablespoon oil if necessary, 5 to 6 minutes per batch.
- Transfer shanks to a large roasting pan.
- Add broth and water to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits.
- Nestle garlic (cut sides down), zest, thyme, and bay leaves with celery and carrots around shanks in pan and add broth mixture. Cover surface with a sheet of parchment paper and tightly cover pan with foil. Transfer to oven and braise until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Skim off and discard fat from cooking liquid and cool mixture completely, uncovered, about 1 hour, then chill, covered, at least 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (leave rack in middle position).
- Skim off and discard any remaining fat from surface of pan juices and reheat shank mixture, covered, in oven, turning shanks over once, 1 hour.
- Discard bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and zest. Transfer shanks and vegetables with garlic to a serving dish and keep warm, covered.
- If pan juices measure more than 3 cups, boil in a cleaned 12-inch skillet until reduced; if less, add water. Squeeze garlic pulp from 1 head into pan juices, discarding skin, and whisk to incorporate.
- Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over shanks and serve, along with vegetables and remaining garlic heads.
- Cooks' note: Braised shank mixture can be chilled, covered, up to 2 days.
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I think this was the first time I made beef shanks. I will probably just use peeled garlic cloves next time, as the garlic heads fell apart and were a bit hard to find. I did not have enough gravy at the end of braising (even though I used parchment paper, foil, and a lid), so my gravy was a little less flavorful then I wanted - but I enhanced it with a 1/2 cup of red wine, and it worked quite well. I served with mashed potatoes and brussell sprouts.