Friday, April 11, 2008

Jarret de boeuf braise

Today's dish is another one inspired by an early post, this one Braised Veal Shank with Thyme, the second dish I ever published. But, when I made this last week, I realized I had no thyme. And the beef shanks at Whole Foods looked far more appetizing than the veal. So I adapted the recipe in another ways and here you have it.

I must say, especially since I haven't had much time to cook lately, this was far and above the best meal I'd made in a long while. The meat was tender and flavorful, rich but not overbearingly so. The addition of Chinese five-spice powder (my new favorite spice blend) added a wonderful hint of sweetness. Finally, this is the kind of dish you can prepare, put on the stove and then leave to cook while you do any number of other things. These days, that is a perfect dish indeed.

Jarret de boeuf braise

Preheat oven to 350 F. Rub 1/8 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, oregano and five-spice powder on all sides of beef shanks. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof pot big enough to hold shanks in one layer. Pour a small handful of flour onto a plate. Dip each side of each piece of beef into the flour. Shake off the excess and place the shank into the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and brown the beef, about 3 minutes per side. When done, transfer beef to a plate.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf and remaining salt, pepper, oregano and five-spice powder. Cook for 12 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan every so often to prevent sticking. Add the beef on top and cover everything with chicken broth. Put the pot into the oven (preferably covered to keep it from drying out) for 1 hour, 10 minutes. Place 1 shank on each plate and cover in sauce and veggies. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Links to other delicious-sounding recipes that use beef shanks:

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