We’re in the depths of spring storms here in the Bay Area. This means it’s damp, windy and grey. And, as is often the case when the weather outside isn’t bright and sunny, we’re cooking more comfort food.
Last night was braised beef shanks. I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked and could make in the time I had with the ingredients I had on hand. So I faked it.
- 1.75 pounds cross cut beef shanks
- 1 onion, chopped roughly
- 6 – 8 baby carrots (the real baby ones, not the mechanically created ones) chopped into 1 1/2 inch lengths
- 2 stalks celery, roughly diced
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 cups wine
- 4 – 5 anchovy filets, chopped
- mushroom ketchup
- squeeze of tomato paste
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Salt and pepper the meat then dredge in flour. (you can also season the flour, but I like the seasoning right on the meat). Then I heated the oil in a heavy pan and seared the meat until it was that lovely dark color. I removed the meat from the pan, then added a touch more olive oil, turned down the heat and added the aromatics. I let them sweat for 5 – 8 minutes, until they were soft and translucent. The meat went back into the pot, followed by the red wine (and a little water to bring the liquid up enough), anchovies, tomato paste and thyme.
I let it simmer, covered for 2 or so hours. Then seasoned with salt and a couple shakes of the mushroom ketchup. Then simmered uncovered for another hour and a half and served with bread and butter.
Warm, comforting “winter” food.