So Monday was a holiday here in Kenya and I was being a good host. In my quest to try out something new, I stumbled across this lovely meat in the supermarket and went on the net to find out what to do with it. Now to my fellow Kenyans, Braising is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared (cooked at high temperature) and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavor. Braising of meat is often referred to as pot roasting, though some authors make a distinction between the two methods based on whether additional liquid is added, from WIKIPEDIA.
After several and aggravating attempts, I came across a lovely site, for meats, yummy! and it had this lovely recipe on how to cook beef shanks, which is the same as beef shin on bone, a meat cut from the cow’s leg, upper I believe. Am not a fun of putting a lot of water/broth to any kind of meat, so in struggling with this new idea, I decided why not, life is too short. All I can say, is that plates went back to the kitchen with bones only, yeh success!
Being in the kitchen trying to wrap up a lot is not as easy, so I managed to only take a picture of the beef once it came from the pan after frying it on butter for about 10 minutes on both sides, sob sob! But I will cook these babies again, that is a guarantee. For those who think its expensive, you’d be surprised because those pieces cost me Kshs 166 and Kshs 210 respectively (depending on weight and they are packaged in twos), that’s bigger than any piece of 1 kg meat cut into 4 pieces, and it had bone marrow too, yummier!
Melt butter/veg. oil on non-stick pan and place the beef. On high heat let the beef brown on bother sides, 1-2 mins each side.
Take out beef shanks and place them aside, as I did above, and another trick is that you can cover them with foil paper, just to maintain the moisture. Put the pan aside for later use, don’t wash.
2 tbsp veg. oil or butter
4 beef shanks (about 1 1/2-inch thick)
3 large onions
1 bay leave (I didn’t have this, so left that out)
6 springs thyme
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery (I used leeks instead)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups beef broth (I used Knorr beef cubes broth)
chives to garnish (you can use a bit of coriander-dhania)
Always remember to start a meal when all your ingredients are prepared. As per foodwishes.blogspot.com/2009/09/cooking-grass-fed-beef-episode-4-beef.html’s recipe, there are some items I did not have, either because they were not readily available or are a bit expensive. These are the ingredients I put together for my big pieces of beef shin on beef, remember you can use half of the ingredients if you are cooking 2 pieces only;
3 Onions cut vertically (with the grain not across the grain)
3 Large carrots diced
1 leek sliced thinly
Rosemary and thyme broth ( so since I had these in smaller pieces, I just boiled them and sieved the broth on the beef)
Beef broth (since this was not readily available, I just bought the knorr beef cubes took 2 cubes put in a large container and added 2 cups of hot water)
Fry the onions in the same pan you browned the beef pieces.
Once you all the above ingredients ready, take a big sufuria and put your beef pieces in, add all your ingredients, season with salt and black pepper, cover with lid and let it cook for 3-4 hours on low heat, simple.
But do remember to check the soup levels once in a while, and once the beef is cooked allow the stock to thicken on high heat.
I served the above with creamy mashed potatoes and peas, yummy! Enjoy your meal