This hearty braised beef shank recipe takes a classic comforting dinner and updates it with a modern cut for a fun appearance. We use a Thor’s Hammer beef shank, simmered in a red wine braising liquid with savory veggies and herbs for a fun update on a wholesome meal.
Table of Contents
This easy beef shank recipe requires only several simple ingredients yet still offers a lot of taste. The braising process tenderizes the otherwise tough meat and adds significantly to its savory and rich sauce. Whether you’re braising lamb shanks or veal, this method is our tried and true favorite for infusing the biggest taste into the meal. For best results, pair this easy dinner recipe with mashed potatoes or vegetables.
If you’re feeling fancy, consider both. But to keep it low-carb, we recommend a parsnip or cauliflower puree.
What Is a Volcano Beef Shank, aka thor’s hammer?
Beef shank is a timeless cut for many old-school recipes made to feed a lot of people. Cut from the shank, leg portion of the cow, otherwise known as a cross cut shank, it’s a highly worked tough cut. Which makes it ideal for braising. And, it’s gotten a modern update, where the butcher has exposed the top part of the bone from the shank center cut and is marketing it as Thor’s Hammer or Volcano cut beef shank. It’s similar to osso buco meat but offers a more elaborate presentation.
If you aren’t familiar with osso buco (or ossobuco), it’s an Italian word for ‘bone with a hole,’ referencing the marrow hole of typically veal shanks. But can also be cut from pork, like in our savory pork osso buco.
Beef shanks, or any shank for that matter, is a tough cut of meat, and is riddled with connective tissue and silverskin that needs to break down in order for the meat to become tender and enjoyable. But when you cook them properly, like with a low and slow braise, every bite is full of rich beefy flavor.
Beef shanks where the bone has been trimmed and exposed add a depth of flavor from the bone marrow that will render as the beef braises.
Beef Shank Ingredients
- Bone-in beef shank – beef cross cut shank with the bone Frenched for show or traditional beef shank bone
- Salt – we always use kosher salt
- Carrots – roughly cut into large chunks
- Onion – chopped into large wedges
- Fresh Garlic cloves
- Pepper – freshly crushed black pepper
- GirlCarnivore Over Easy – or your favorite robust herb mix, like Italian seasoning
- Tomato paste
- Red Wine – use a dry red wine you’d be happy to drink later. If you want, you can substitute beef stock, but we find the flavor not as robust.
- Fresh Thyme sprigs
- Fresh Rosemary sprigs
How To Cook Beef Shank
The goal is to cook this low and slow to a temp of 200 to 205 degrees F to break down all the tough connective tissue. It will be tender meat that shreds easily but still has a little tug from the bone. Let’s break it down:
Prep the beef shank
- Lower the oven rack to the lower mid level and preheat the oven as instructed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Trim excess fat from beef shank as needed. Secure with butcher’s twine along the circumference and season liberally on all sides with salt. Securing it simply helps to retain the shape for the finished dish presentation. If you aren’t concerned about this, you could skip this step.
- Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add canola oil to the large pot.
- Place the beef shank in and sear on all sides, using tongs to rotate the shank as needed for up to ten minutes—then set aside.
- Reduce the heat and add carrots, onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, and GirlCarnivore Over Easy spice blend to the roasting pan.
- Deglaze the pan with wine using caution as it will bubble and steam.
- Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Slowly add the remaining wine and bring to a simmer.
- Tie the rosemary and thyme sprigs together and add them to the pot.
- Remove from heat or stove top.
Braise the beef shank
- Add shank back to pot. Cook as instructed in the recipe card, covered, occasionally rotating the meat to evenly cook all sides and basting it with the red wine sauce.
Rest and Serve
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Using tongs, set the beef shank on a cutting board, tenting with foil to rest. Carefully remove the rosemary and thyme from the red wine sauce.
- Shred the beef from the bone and ladle the accumulated juices over top or serve large chunks individually with a knife and fork to allow individuals to cut.
- Garnish with a pinch of fresh thyme sprigs, lemon zest, minced fresh parsley, salt and pepper to serve.
EXPERT RECIPE TIPS
Leftovers & Reheating
Store leftover beef shank, shredded from the bone, in an airtight container or double-wrapped tightly in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. If stored properly, you can reheat the beef shank up to three days later.
To reheat, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the beef shank, wrapped in foil, in the preheated oven and bake for up to 15 minutes—or until cooked through.
What to Serve With
Beef Shank FAQs
One of the best things about beef shank is that it’s known for being inexpensive. Often overlooked, the beef shank is an old-school cut that is perfect for low and slow-braising recipes. But its also tough, full of connective tissue and requires effort to enjoy.
Because the volcano cut (thor’s hammer) is coming into popularity, they are more expensive than a classic beef shank. It also requires the butcher to trim the meat back from the shank, so you’re paying for looks here. However, any recipe you see for Thor’s hammer cut, will also work with traditional shanks.
This popular meat cut is notably used for soups and hearty stews. It’s commonly used when making beef bone broth. And, as this delicious braised beef shank recipe will attest, it’s amazing braised in a Dutch oven.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful Bone in beef shank recipe. If you’ve never made it before, let me know how it went for you in the comments below. If you have, rate the recipe and let us know in the comments below, how did it compare to other recipes you’ve tried? Can’t wait to hear how it turned out!
Red Wine Braised Beef Shank Recipe
- dutch oven
For the braised beef shank
- 4.5 lb Bone-in beef shank also known as Thors Hammer, Volcano cut beef shank, where the bone has been trimmed and exposed.
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 3 Carrots roughly chopped
- 1 Onion roughly chopped
- 7 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tbsp GirlCarnivore Over Easy
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups Red Wine
- 5 to 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs
- 1 tsp Parsley minced
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp minced thyme
- salt and pepper
Prep the Oven
- Lower the oven rack to the lower mid level and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Prep the beef shank:
- If the shank has excessive fat or exposed silver skin, trim it as needed. Secure with butcher’s twine along the circumference of the shank to help it retain it’s shape and not fall apart while cooking.
- Season the beef liberally on all sides with salt.
- Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add canola oil to the pot.
- Place the beef shank in and sear on all sides, using tongs to rotate the shank as needed. About 7 to 10 minutes.
- Set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add carrots, onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, and GirlCarnivore Over Easy spice blend to the pan.
- Deglaze the pan by pouring a little wine in, using caution as it will bubble and steam at this point. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Slowly add the remaining wine and bring to a simmer.
- Tie the rosemary and thyme sprigs together and add them to the pot.
- Remove from heat.
Braise the beef shank:
- Add shank back to pot. Because of the long bone, it may protrude from the pot. Consider wrapping the bone in foil to prevent over-browning. If the lid of your Dutch Oven wont fit with the beef bone, tent the whole thing with foil to cover.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours, covered, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees F, occasionally rotating the meat to evenly cook all sides and basting it with the red wine sauce.
Rest and Serve:
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven and using tongs, set the beef shank on a cutting board, tenting with foil to rest.
- Carefully remove the rosemary and thyme from the red wine sauce. Shred the beef from the bone and ladle the red wine sauce over top, or serve large chunks individually with a knife and fork to allow individuals to cut.
- Garnish with a pinch of fresh thyme sprigs, lemon zest, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to serve.