The shank, the often neglected lower leg, is one of the most flavorful parts of an animal. Naturally lean, they contain loads of collagen, which gives a silky smooth sauce and a luscious texture to the meat after slow cooking. The marrow in the bone is a treat as well.
1. Rub the shanks with salt and heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Brown the shanks, working in batches if your pot is not large enough. About 8-10 minutes.
3. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot, stir well, cover tightly, and transfer to the oven for two hours.
4. Uncover and allow to cook/reduce for 30 minutes more. Season to taste.
5. Serve with your favorite vegetable (glazed carrots with Hawayej are great), and rice (crispy Persian rice with currant raisins, pine nuts, and saffron is fantastic). The liquid can be reduced to make a sauce, or saved for another use (great as a soup base with chickpeas, carrots, and rice).
Fun to try
• Shred leftover meat and use to top a white pizza along with preserved dark cherries, ricotta, and crumbled pistachios.
• Swap the Tangier for Sri Lanka, preserved lemon for brown rice vinegar, sunflower oil for olive oil, and add whole star anise, fresh ginger, soy sauce, sugar, and large chunks of daikon radish to the braise.
Food image and recipe © Christian Leue
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