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Monday, October 4, 2010

Beef Shanks w/ Ginger, Cumin, Coconut Milk and More!

Braised Beef Shanks with Coconut Milk, Ginger and Cumin
Photo courtesy of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

When we bought our last 1/4 cow I received some interesting cuts that I had never heard of and certainly have never cooked. Beef Shank is on that list. My mom is a good cook but not an adventuresome cook and beef shank was never ever on the menu - I would imagine because there were 9 kids and shank would be a little expensive. But, my beef shank costs the same as my ground hamburger so I am so cooking it up for my family.

I am always looking for ways to add coconut milk to our diet - it is such a delicious and nutritious addition to so many things but I was not 100% sure about the following recipe. I really liked it. The beef itself was definitely a rich (is that the word I am looking for?) tasting meat but I loved the sauce and so it all went together great.

To be honest, I was a little bit nervous that my kids wouldn't  like the spices -they are a picky crowd. Some loved it, some not so much but everyone ate their meal!

This was also the first time I have ever eaten marrow - I know, I am not a real foodie, I just pretend to be one.  It was better than I expected. 

Braised Beef Shanks with Ginger, Cumin, Coconut Milk &more!
3 TBS butter
2 tablespoons Lard
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots diced
2 turnips, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh ginger, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 pounds beef shanks, cut 1 ½ to 2 inches thick
1-tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick,
2 bay leaves

Directions for Braised Beef Shanks
Start by preheating the oven to 425 F. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the butter melts, add the onion, carrots, turnips, garlic and ginger.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables begin to soften. This should take about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir every once in a while so the vegetables don’t burn. Remove the vegetables from the pan and reserve.
Add the remaining 2TBS of butter to the pan along with 1TBS of lard and turn the heat back up to medium high. When the butter melts, start browning the beef shanks on all sides. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. If you need to brown them in batches. When all the shanks are brown, remove them and place them on a large plate.

Reduce the heat once again to medium and add the cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes. All you want to do is have the spices release the oils from them. This should take about 1 minute.
Add ½ cup of the beef stock and stir while deglazing the pan. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of beef stock and the coconut milk, stir and bring to a boil.

Add the beef shanks back to the pan and then the vegetables. Next add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees.  Cover and place the Dutch oven  into the preheated oven and cook (braise) for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours until the meat is tender and shrinks away from the bone.

When the shanks are tender, carefully remove them from the pan to a large platter and let it cool enough to remove any meat from the bone.  If the braising liquid is overly greasy, use a spoon to remove some of the fat.

On top of the stove, reduce the braising liquid over medium-high heat until it starts to thicken. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the meat back into the liquid to warm back up then serve.

I have read where it is better to wait and eat this the next day - but I didn't. (updated - leftovers are even better than day one - so wait if possible)

I served the beef shanks over sweet rice but you could use basmati or noodles or mashed potatoes if you would prefer.

Oh, and if you have it, garnish with cilantro.

I am linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!
Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist
Tuesday Night Supper Club @Fudge Ripple
Tasty Tuesday @Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Real Food Wednesday @Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap Cozy Suppers


  1. Hello Christy my darling and thanks so much as always for hosting and posting on the hearth and soul hop. I take exception to your statement that you are not a real foodie. The only thing that defines a foodie is their Love of food--you have that and a bag of chips baby!

    We ate shank a lot as a kid. The cut is actually part of the leg bone and not that expensive, but the meet is delicious when braised. I like the idea of using the coconut milk as a simmer sauce and I am sure it was divine!

    Hugs! Alex@amoderatelife

  2. Christy, I love me some beef shank! Welcome to the club of aficionados:) We ate a lot of beef shanks, braised, boiled for soup, eaten with a horseradish sauce, boiled potatoes and carrots. It takes a while to prepare, but it's so delicious.
    The addition of coconut milk is very intriguing. I have an adventurous bunch living with me, and I might surprise them.
    Today was pretty chilly in SoCal, so braising time may commence!

  3. i too have had my share of shanks--particularly as osso buco. at first i thought, wow...coconut milk...that is bold! but this recipe is so interesting...i would use it for why not beef shank, right? so are definitely a foodie!

  4. Ladies - I am blushing! You are all so sweet. I was nervous making it but it turned out great. Next time I will have some great beer bread to go with it to sop up the sauce!

  5. This sounds delicious, I am just starting to learn to cook with coconut milk. I also like cooking with shank meat, because it has a good supply of gelatin, which is so good for you. Thanks so much.

  6. Honey Bunny, of course you're a real foodie! You jump into all sorts of new food adventures feet first, and that's a wonderful quality that you are obviously passing down to your kids.

    Shanks are one of my favorite cuts of meat, anthing actually, that you have to coax the flavor and tenderness out of, yum! Such a great post for the Hearth and Soul hop. You're a great host, you foodie, you!

  7. I love the combination of spices - it sounds terrific! I am happy to discover another recipe that call for turnips.

    When I was a child we raised our own beef, so I grew up gnawing on bones, but I don't think that is what makes one a foodie. I think a foodie is one who appreciates food - experiments, savors the flavors, and shares the joy. And you my dear, are definitely a foodie!

  8. This sounds good. Just the thought of the coconut milk with the meat makes me feel hungry. Thanks for this.

  9. This looks scrumptious! Definitely adding it to my "gotta try" list.

  10. This sounds wonderful Christy! I love the spices -really warming and delicious. I know my family will like this one. Thanks for co-hosting the blog hop!

  11. What a great combination of spices and I'm like Arnold, just hearing coconut milk makes me hungry. Love cooking with coconut milk. How could your kids not like this, it sounds delicious! :o)

  12. Way to cook outside your comfort zone. It's like an Asian Osso Bucco and looks delicious... I think everyone agrees that you are a real foodie.

  13. Christy, I love beef shank (and marrow especially), but I have only ever given it the classic osso bucco kind of treatment. Love what you've done with it and am eager to try it.

    Thanks also for stopping by my blog and your lovely comments - do hope you try the cheese - don't think I will ever buy ricotta again now.

    Sue :-)

  14. Oh my! everything in here looks wonderful! It's so nice to meet you...

  15. I think it sounds fabulous with the coconut milk and all those know, I don't think I've ever combined beef with coconut milk. You've convinced me to do just that! How did you like the marrow? Did you spread it on toast like the English do?? ;) Awesome hearth and soul hop entry!

  16. This sounds delicious with all those spices! Shanks aren't very expensive over here, so I'll definitely be trying this one.

  17. I just made it and It's Amazing!! I used clarified butter, left out the carrots and at the end I added tons of bok choy and green onions and a littl more beef broth.

    1. oh, the bok choy and green onions sound like a fantastic addition! Thanks for letting me know that you tried this and it turned out!

  18. 3 Studies PROVE Why Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you literally get rid of fat by eating Coconut Fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!