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Season beef shanks on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Heat 3 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat.
Pan sear beef on each side, 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Lower heat to medium and add a little more olive oil. Add the onions and all the spices. Mix well, scraping the bottom of the pot for all the good brown bits. Sauté 4 minutes, then add carrots and celery. After 2 minutes, add wine and 1 (14oz) can beef broth. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Return beef to skillet. The level of cooking liquid should always be about 3/4 the way up the beef shank. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, adding stock if liquid level gets low.
Serve atop a bed of risotto, couscous or polenta with the cooking liquid poured on top. Be sure to check on beef mid way. If liquid is low, you may need to add some more broth.
TIP: This recipe works best if the vegetables are prepared in advance.
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