Raw beef shanks on a cutting board with seasonings spread around and green garnish
The Tough Cut Of Beef You Likely Won't Spot At The Store
Grocery stores often sell many different cuts of beef, but one you likely haven’t seen while shopping is the very affordable, but extremely tough beef shank.
The shank is a lean cut sourced from the forearm of the cow, just between the brisket and the short plate. It has many sinews and cartilage and often comes with a central bone.
When beef shanks are cooked over direct heat, the sinews and cartilage will become nearly impossible to chew, but there are still lots of great uses for the cut.
The central bone of the shank is filled with marrow, which helps store flavor and proteins that will break down when cooked in liquid, resulting in a thick, richly flavored broth.
With proper equipment or a local butcher service, shanks can be made into lean ground meat. Braising is also a great option, especially for dishes where meat is stewed on low heat.
If you are looking for beef shanks, you'll likely find them at butcher shops, specialty meat markets, local farms, and from vendors such as Porter Road and Prosper Meats.