Sunday, February 12, 2012

Braised Beef Shanks with Marsala and Mushrooms

This is delightfully earthy and satisfying. Excellent with mashed potatoes. I used dried porcini mushrooms, which are intensely flavorful. Feel free to use another type; if it's something less pungent you might want to increase the quantity.

You could easily substitute short ribs or a pot roast cut for the shanks in this recipe.

3-4 lbs beef shanks
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup dried porcini or other mushrooms
1 1/2 cups marsala
Beef broth

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels, then season liberally all over with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and brown in the oven for 10 minutes on each side.

While the meat browns, heat a little olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat. When the meat is browned, add it to the pot along with the garlic, dried mushrooms, marsala, and enough beef broth to cover the meat about three quarters of the way. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is falling-apart tender.

To serve, place the meat on a platter and cut away the bones and remaining connective tissue, then cut meat into chunks. Strain the solids out of the cooking liquid and return it to the pot. Reduce a bit if you like.

Serve the meat with mashed potatoes and a spoonful of the cooking liquid.

Serves about 4.

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