Blustery night beef shank stew

winterwindI think 38 and rainy is much ickier than 28 and clear. So after a rather fun day of shopping in the ick, we really wanted to come home and nest. We threw this on and watched a movie, then finished making it and eating it after dark.

My beef stew is usually less…complicated? I certainly use fewer seasonings usually, but that may change after tonight’s version. Yum!

Smoky beef stew. Cooking time: 2-3 hours. Serves 3-4.

In a heavy pot, combine and brown:

  • A splash of oil
  • One onion, quartered
  • One slice of beef shank (about a pound)
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Deglaze the pan with:

  • 1/2 bottle of beer

Add the following:

  • A can of diced tomatoes, with juices
  • A knob of ginger, peeled and cut in half
  • 4-5 c. water (enough to cover everything about 3x the depth of the beef)

Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for about 2.5 hours until the meat is very tender. The liquid will boil away and leave a very thick sauce – be sure it doesn’t burn.

When the meat is cooked, take it out, remove the bone and gristle, and shred the beef.

Add to the pot:

  • the shredded beef
  • 2-3 carrots, in large chunks
  • 2 fist-sized potatoes, in large chunks
  • 1/2 a rutabaga, in large chunks
  • Opt: 1/4 c. black olives
  • Water to cover – though not as much as the first time (you want the sauce to be fairly thick)

Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Just before serving, season to taste with:

  • Smoked sea salt
  • Smoked sweet paprika


  1. Dave Shackelford said,

    December 15, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Smoked sweet paprika? Where did you come by that?

  2. Emily said,

    December 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Dave- I found it at a local specialty grocery. It was actually cheaper and easier to find than I’d thought – about $3 for a pretty big tin (1/2 a cup?).

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