Monday, August 3, 2009

Ossobusco de Res En Salsa (Beef Shank with Carrot and Potatoes)

Awhile back my mother bought some beautiful beef shanks, this cut of beef lends itself well, it's meaty, marbled, has bone, and marrow which makes very flavorful rich stews and soups, especially if the marrow cooks into the stew or soup.

We had it in the fridge for awhile, but lately my mom had been craving it in a typical tomato based sauce with carrots and potatoes accompanied by some fluffy white rice maybe a salad and if you have the stomach and space some black bean soup. So one morning we decided to just cook dinner in advance so we could take that of our hands for the rest of the day.

My mother was thinking of preparing it the same way my grandmother makes "Carne Con Papa" (Cuban Beef and Potato Stew), but I was in the mood with something of a more Spanish flavor, more specifically the wonderful smell and taste of "Pimienton Dulce de la Vera" (sweet smoked spanish paprika from La Vera) the wonderful spice that makes Spanish chorizo so delicious which is much more flavorful and robust than the bland American paprika. (do not subsitute this paprika for the American one it will not be the same)

So we ended up deciding to make my grandmother's recipe for "Carne Con Papa" just using beef shank instead, as well as seasoning it differently (instead of using bay leaves, cumin we used sweet smoked spanish paprika and black pepper) and let me tell you the results did not dissappoint. It was a hit :)

The recipe was also inspired by this recipe of "Pollo en Salsa" from Monica and her blog Secretos de Cocina, Enyesques y Algo más whom resides in Canary Islands, whom gave me the idea of seasoning braised meats with salt, paprika, and black pepper as well.


-3 beef shanks
-1/4- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil as needed
-1 bell pepper minced
-1 onion minced
-1/2 head garlic minced or mashed to paste
-1/2- 1 cup red wine
-3 large ripe tomatoes pureed or 1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-2 cups water
-salt to taste
-freshly ground black pepper to taste
-1 tablespoon sweet smoked spanish paprika
-3 potatoes cut into chunks
-6-8 carrots cut into large chunks peeled
-1 bunch of washed cleaned cilantro roughly chopped

(1) Heat a large metal pot WITHOUT ANY OIL until it's really hot on very high heat, to see if it's hot just sprinkle some water and if the water dances or instantly disappears it's ready, add the meat it should make like a screaming noise from the high heat, not a sizzle but a thunder like sound, do not move the meat let it brown for 5 minutes un-touched in one side, then flip it quickly to brown on other side. Set aside

(2) You want the pan should have a blackish browning on the pan, this is gonna lend the dish great strong beefy smokey flavor.

(3) Lower heat to medium high and wait a little, add your extra-virgin olive oil and immediately add your onions and bell pepper diced up, sautee for about 6 minutes until translucent scrape with a wooden spoon to pick up drippings, add garlic sautee 1 minute until you can smell the garlic.

(4) Add red wine, bring heat back to high and scrape to deglaze with further with a wooden spoon, add tomato sauce bring to boil, now add water to dilute sauce, add salt to taste, black pepper, and tablespoon of sweet smoked spanish paprika bring to a boil again, add the meat back spoon some of the sauce over and cover then lower heat to medium low to simmer. Cook until meat is tender about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
(5) Add the potatoes and carrot afterwards and cook maybe another 30 minutes or more to get the potatoes tender as well as the carrots.
(6) Garnish with fresh cilantro to add some freshness and lighten up the dish.
You can buy the sweet smoked Spanish paprika from "La Tienda" (I have the banner on top of my page click on it if you want to check it out) or if your lucky buy it from a store near you if available locally.