The Basic Recipe for Any Kind of Shanks


beef shank stew (2)

The amount of servings is up to you

I do love, during winter, shanks.  It’s sort of like soul food-the kind that makes you feel good inside.   There are so many different ways of cooking them—stove top, in the oven, and even in the micro.  In fact I once made the micro version that turned out to be the best.  I need to look for that recipe. However, this is a basic recipe which I think always turns out tasty.  This time I used beef shanks because they were so reasonably priced.


Shanks—any amount that you wish



Olive Oil

1 medium onion-chopped

2 large carrots-peeled and chopped in small bits

3 stalks of celery—washed and chopped into small bits

1 or 2 cloves of garlic—peeled and chopped finely

1 bay leaf

Oregano—dry or fresh-about 1/4 Tsp. dry or 3/4 Tblsp. fresh

Thyme—dry or fresh –about 1/4 Tsp. dry or 3/4 Tblsp. fresh

Red wine—probably not more than 3/4 C. for 2 shanks (for 4 shanks could be as much as 2 C.) (don’t forget to pour yourself a little glass as well.)

Beef bouillon—probably not more than 3/4 C for 2 (for 4 shanks could be 1 C)


  1. In a plastic baggie, place enough flour, S&P and dried or chopped fresh oregano ; shake well to mix; then place the shanks  in the baggie; shake once more to lightly flour them. Make sure your shanks don’t have too much flour on them.
  2. In a large and semi-deep skillet place about 2 Tblsp. olive oil and brown the shanks on medium high heat on all sides (about 4 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate.
  3. You’ll probably want to add some more olive oil at this point to the hot skillet; add your veggies and the thyme.  Over medium heat  stir and brown your veggies for about 10 -15 minutes or till tender and translucent.  Make sure they don’t get too done.
  4. Put shanks back in skillet on top of veggies, add the wine and bouillon and simmer covered on very low heat (but where you see some heat bubbles rising to the surface) for 3 to 3 ½ hours or till shanks are tender and are almost falling off the bone.
  5. Make sure to keep an eye on this dish and don’t let the liquid evaporate too much.  If need be add more wine or bouillon. I usually add some more liquid about 1/2 way through.

I serve this dish with my no-trick popovers and a nice salad or veggies.  You can also serve it with cauliflower puree or mashed potatoes.   If you wish another variation for this recipe, you could add some chopped tomatoes—either canned or fresh if tasty. Or you can use white wine and rosemary as a seasoning.  Also, you can top this dish off with chopped parsley and even some lightly sautéed in butter mushrooms. Fun to experiment isn’t it?

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID.

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