Although it used to be underrated, beef shank has become popular in many parts of the world.
Whether you call it beef shank or leg, it is one of the most delicious and affordable cuts of beef.
Beef shank can make the most delicious roast as long as it is cooked perfectly. However, beef shank can be hard to find at your local grocery store.
Luckily you won’t have that problem after today since I am making the task of buying beef shank a lot easier.
What Is Beef Shank?
You cannot know where to buy beef shank without knowing what it is. Beef shank is a cut that’s found on the leg of the steer.
Typically, it is cut horizontally into 1-inch slices, and there is edible marrow in the bone.
Is There Another Name for Beef Shanks?
Every steer has two shank parts in the front and back legs. They can be labeled and marketed as the foreshank, rear shank, or hind shank.
You may also see beef shank labeled as soup bones.
Are Beef Shanks Healthy?
Since it is lean meat, beef shank is healthy. It contains a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B6, selenium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamin B12.
In addition to this, beef shank also contains minuscule amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol which are associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease.
Are Beef Shanks Tough or Tender?
Even though beef shank looks like a steak with a round of the leg bone in its center, it must not be confused with Tomahawk or Denver steaks. Beef shanks are tougher and must be cooked for a long time to become tender.
Beef shanks are a part of the leg. The steer’s legs work hard to move around. It is filled with muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues; therefore, it is an extremely tough, sinewy cut of beef.
Nevertheless, beef shanks will become irresistibly tender if they are cooked for a long time in liquid.
How To Cook Beef Shank
Just like cooking brisket and pulled pork, beef shanks need a lot of time to cook. So, you must be patient when cooking beef shanks.
It will take 4-6 hours for beef shanks to transform from a tough, chewy cut of meat to a tender, delicious cut of meat.
You can also cook your beef shanks in a pressure cooker or instant pot to drastically reduce the cooking time.
Beef shanks will take about 50 minutes in an instant pot.
To cook your beef shanks, sear them in a hot cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven until golden brown.
Place the beef shanks into your crockpot and sauté aromatic vegetables such as onions, celery, garlic, and carrots in the same pan you used to sear the meat. You can also add herbs such as thyme or rosemary.
Deglaze the pan with 1/3-1/2 cup of red wine. Make sure you get the browned bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan, then pour it into the crockpot and add 4-6 cups of beef broth.
Cover the beef shanks and let them cook for 4-6 hours.
Is Beef Shank the Same as Oxtail
Like skirt steak and flank steak, beef shanks and oxtails often get mixed up. Beef shanks and oxtails are not the same things.
Oxtail and beef shank are 2 different cuts of beef. Beef shank is cut from the legs while oxtail is cut from the rear of the steer.
In addition to this, oxtails contain a higher ratio of fat than beef shanks. In contrast, beef shanks contain bone marrow and muscle tissue.
What Are Good Substitutes For Beef Shank
If you cannot find beef shanks, there’s no need to worry. You can always use one of the substitutes mentioned below.
Veal shanks are a great substitute for beef shanks. Veal shanks are fabricated from the front and back legs of male calves.
Generally, they are crosscut, which exposes a portion of the shin.
Beef tendon is also an excellent substitute for beef shanks. Beef tendons have minuscule amounts of fat and are fabricated from the shin.
Beef tendons are very lean and have a firm texture that feels like gelatin. They can be slow-cooked, just like beef shanks.
Beef short ribs are also a great substitute for beef shanks. Even though they are called short ribs, they do not come from the rib.
They are fabricated from the neck, upper arm, and shoulder.
Short ribs are chewy. However, they are flavorful. Even though you can for up your natural gas grill and cook the short ribs, you can also braise them until the meat separates from the bone.
Where To Buy Beef Shank
Unfortunately, your local grocery store may not have beef shanks. Beef shanks are not popular in grocery stores since most people do not know how to use them.
Even though they are relatively even cheap, since a lot of people do not buy them, they are a rarity at grocery stores.
Nevertheless, you can still ask the butcher behind the meat counter.
You can find beef shanks at local butcher shops, meat markets, and farms.
However, if you visit your local butcher shop, you may only find rear shanks. Rear shanks are longer and have a uniform shape.
If you need beef shanks in bulk, meat markets are most likely to have them in bulk.
You can cut the beef shanks into smaller portions with a knife and use them as you need them.
You can purchase beef shanks from online retailers. Your beef shanks will come right to your front door. However, I recommend using this as a last resort.
Sometimes the beef shanks that are advertised is not what you will receive.
This is why you should read the online meat retailer’s reviews before purchasing beef shanks.
If you’ve never had beef shanks, then you are in for a treat. Now that you know where to buy beef shanks, you can easily braise them in liquid until they are tender and delicious.
You might also be interested in the following: