How to cook beef shank so that it is fall-off-the-bone tender?

  • I bought several one-inch beef shank cross-sections from the local supermarket. It looks like concentric circles, with a inner circle of bone and an innermost circle of marrow. I put the shanks in a pot, covered it with water, and braised it for 12 hours at 200 F in the oven. At the end, the collagen had converted into gelatin, but the meat seemed quite tough and chewy.

    Is it possible for beef shanks to be super tender? If so, how do you cook them that way?

    The top two answers give conflicting information, which is a shame.

    It's called Osso Bucco, typically done with veal shanks but I've done it with beef shanks too. That traditional Italian recipe is the perfect example of how to braise shanks.

  • Sean Hart

    Sean Hart Correct answer

    7 years ago

    If your beef shank is chewy, it's undercooked. Period. Whatever the amount of time is, even if it seems like a lot to you, it's not enough. Overcooking will cause meat cuts with a lot of connective tissue (like shank) to dry, and even fall apart because it is too tender. But it will not still be chewy.

    Yep, a sure sign that braised meat is overcooked is not that it's chewy but that it becomes unpleasantly stringy and dry.

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