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How to Prepare and Cook Beef Cross-Cut Hind Shank

Beef shank, known as Chamorro de res, is a thick cut of bone-in meat taken from the upper part of a cow leg. Traditional recipes require slow braising of the meat to tenderize it and bring out its rich beefy flavor. By adding a few authentic Latin American spices when slow-cooking beef shanks, you can create culturally-inspired meals like Beef Barbacoa and Mexican Beef Stew.

What Is Beef Shank?

A beef shank is a cut of meat from the leg area that has low fat content. Most recipes recommend slow braising beef shanks to tenderize the meat until it is fall-off-the-bone soft.

A cross-cut or cross-section hind shank is a portion of the back legs of a cow cut horizontally. The cut will contain a shank bone in the center surrounded by rich meat that’s excellent for making various Mexican stews. The average cross-cut beef can weigh one to two pounds and be four to six inches in diameter.

The meat around the shank bone is delectable when cooked until soft, and the marrow bone in the center makes beef shanks ideal for making marrow bone broths. Beef shank also has a high collagen content that creates moist and juicy meat after a long, slow cook.

How to Prepare & Cook Hind Shank

Several recipes are available if you want to learn how to cook beef hind shank at home. Most of these recipes have a long cook time, but you can shorten the cooking time by using an instant pot. If you follow the below tips, you can look forward to flavorful and moist shank meat:

Tip #1

Heat a skillet and add some oil, preferably a high heat cooking oil like canola or sunflower oil. Once your pan is hot, season your rinsed and dried beef shanks with some salt and black pepper and place the pieces of meat inside the hot pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan, or it will not stay hot enough to sear each piece.

Sear each side of each piece of meat until they are brown all over. The goal of searing the meat isn’t to cook it. Browning will enhance the meat’s flavor and aroma and give it a more appetizing color by caramelizing the exterior.

After browning your meat, add a braising stock or sauce to the browned shanks and slow cook until the meat is tender enough to pull off the bone. You can also sear the meat on a grill before braising it in an oven or slow cooker until tender and 160 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside.

Tip #2

Once you have tender and juicy beef shanks, you can use the delicious meat to add bold rich flavors to your favorite traditional Hispanic soup and stew recipes. A popular traditional recipe that uses tender beef hind shanks is Caldo de Res.

Cooking the dish will fill your home with the comforting aroma of the rich beef soup filled with fresh vegetables. Click here for more traditional Mexican dishes you can make with beef shanks.

Tip #3

Beef hind shank is an excellent choice for making juicy beef birria that you can use as taco fillings. The recipe requires simmering your beef shanks in a rich chile sauce for two to three hours. Connect with your cultural heritage with traditional beef birria made with beef hind shanks and spicy red chile sauce. Check out a full Beef Birria recipe here.

Tip #4

Beef shanks are excellent for making bone broth, thanks to the meat’s high gelatin content and rich marrow bone. Make your broth by cleaning and drying the shanks before placing them in a preheated oven to brown for 45 minutes. If you do not have an oven, you can pan brown the shanks on a stovetop.

After browning the beef shanks, place them in a slow cooker and fully submerge with water. Add onions, garlic, peppercorns, and water, then cook the meat for 8 to 24 hours until it is tender and 160 degrees Fahrenheit on the inside. The longer you slow cook the shanks, the richer your broth will be.

You can use your bone broth immediately after cooking or store it. To save your broth for later use, pour it into a freezer-safe container and let it cool before storing it in a below-zero degrees Fahrenheit freezer. The cooled bone broth will be gelatinous and thick. Click here for a full Bone Broth recipe.

Tip #5

If you cannot afford to spend hours slow cooking your beef hind shanks, you can significantly reduce your cooking time by using an instant pot or pressure cooker. Instead of slow cooking for hours, you can make falling-apart-tender beef shanks within 30 minutes in an instant pot. Check out this easy pressure cooker recipe for more inspiration.

Enjoy Your Favorite Beef Hind Shank Recipes at Home

Beef shank meat is an excellent source of protein and highly flavorful, and now that you know how to cook beef shank at home, nothing can stop you from eating it as often as you want. Visit Rumba Meats today to find where to buy beef hind shanks.