Well, it was another gray, freezing cold, gloomy day so I decided this was a perfect Sunday to do a nice slow braise and make good smells in the house, this is what I came up with. It was just what the doctor ordered! This would work with beef short ribs as well.
Red Wine-Braised Beef Shanks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 (1-inch thick) "soup cut" beef shanks, about 3 pounds total
Salt & Pepper
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 large ribs celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 pound cremini (baby bellas) mushrooms, stems removed, thickly sliced
8 cloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
1t. dried thyme
1t. dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups dry red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 T. dried basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over high heat until very hot.
Season shanks on both sides with the salt and pepper, transfer to Dutch oven and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer shanks to a plate and set aside. Add onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally to get up the brown bits from browning the shanks, until vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, mix in to the vegetables and let it cook a minute or two.
Add garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes. Add red wine and stir well with a wooden spoon, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any bits that may remain. Add fire-roasted tomatoes, beef stock, basil, parsley, salt and black pepper, to taste and stir well to combine.
Return shanks to the Dutch oven and bring sauce to a boil. Cover Dutch oven, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally, or until shanks are tender. Skim the fat off the top and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!