Andy's beef and barley soup is tailor made for beef shanks. Shanks are indeed tough, but full of flavor. They pair spectacularly with onion, and braising. Beef shanks are also used to make Espagnole Sauce. But before you can make epagnole sauce, you must first make a beef stock. This is where the shanks come in. Here are the ingredients:
4 lbs. meaty beef shanks
3 carrots (peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths (appoximate)
2 yellow cooking onions (peeled, quartered)
3 stalks celery (cut into 1 inch chunks)
2 leeks (cleaned and cut into chunks)
1 sprig thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed
2 whole cloves
Place the shanks into a stock pot, or large pressure cooker, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and in the stock pot, simmer for four hours. In the pressure cooker, cook at 11 to 15 lbs for two hours. Remove the pressure according to your pressure cooker directions.
While the shanks are cooking, wrap the garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and cloves into a square of cheesecloth and tie it into a sachet. When the shanks have cooked, add the sachets annd bay leaves to the pot. Cover and simmer for another hour. Remove the sachet's and correct the seasoning with salt.
A classic espagnole sauce recipe can be found here - Espagnole Sauce Recipe | Epicurious.com
Simply use your stock in the recipe.
Beef shanks are wonderful for making soups, stews, and espcially sauces broths, and stocks. They have sufficient meat on them to make a meal, while the marro cartilage, and connecting tissues, form a wonderfully rich texture and add important minerals and proteins to the meal as well. Taht onion and celery, well they create a lightly acidic PH that helps leach the calcium and other nutrients from the bones. In fact, as the calcium is given up to the broth, the bones become soft. You could chew them without damaging your teeth. Of course it would taste bad and have a really bad mouth feel. So go ahead and just throw the bones away. Yeh, I know, I'm pretty strange
. But the food info is good anyways. Enjoy your beef shanks, whatever you do with them.
Seeeeeeya' Chief Longwind of the NOrth