We have been watching a lot of football in our house as of late. A lot. Possibly the most football I have ever watched in my life. So much football that I am at the point that I do not expect to do anything else with my SO on Sundays, nor do I plan to do anything that requires more than part of his attention while he sits on the couch glued to the Red Zone Channel. I am not used to this. Its not uncommon for me to hear him yelling in excitement or shouting scolding comments at the TV while I am in a different part of the house. See here:
“Come on defense, make a STOP!”
“Yeah! That’s how you play Tom Brady, you KNOW!”
“You’re doing nothing for me today Vick, nothing!”
“Give it to Sproles!”
I am pretty much beat. The Jets and Fantasy Football are too strong for me. I have no way to fight for his attention aside from cooking and I am not going down without a fight. The past few weekends I have pulled out every delicious, fall-like, football friendly recipe I know. Aside from today’s post, I have done pizza and chili, and on the docket are nachos, sliders, and pot roast. Now I know, Red Wine-Braised Beef Shanks are slightly more sophisticated then most run-of-the-mill wing platters, but come on. I am allowed to have a little luxury in my life on Sunday. It’s war. And at least with these shanks, we both win.
Adapted from, “Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs” by Jenny Rosenstrach and Andy Ward for Bon Appetit, October 2011. Active time: 30 minutes, inactive time: 5-10 hours; Serves 4.
2 1/2 pounds bone-in beef shanks (or short ribs)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 750-ml bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, tied together with kitchen twine
1 tsp beef seasoning, such as World Grill Beef Rub or McCormicks
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1/2 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 cups low-salt stock, beef preferred
Slow cooker or dutch over (dutch oven instructions here)
Remove shanks from refrigerator 30 minutes before you intend to start. Rub shanks generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown shanks on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer shanks to a plate. Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. drippings from pot.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot, season with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste with a splash of wine; mix well, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining wine, then add shanks back to pan with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 10-12 minutes. Remove shanks and place in crock pot. Add all herbs/seasonings to pan along with garlic. Stir in stock and season pan sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and turn off. Carefully pour pan sauce over shanks in crock pot and cover.
Cook 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low in crock pot, until meat falls off the bone*. Serve shanks in shallow bowls over mashed potatoes laced with lemon zest with plenty of pan sauce sauce (fish out parsley first). Serve immediately.
* If you are entertaining with this dish (and I very much hope that you do), wrap twine around each shank to keep the meat attached to the bone, seen here. This way you have nice, individual portions. No need to involve twine for casual Sunday dinners at home, watching football. Just serve one bone and ample meat to each bowl.