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Also known as center beef shanks or crosscut shank steaks, the beef shank is cut from the muscular upper front leg of the beef. A rather tough cut of meat, the shank is often added to soups and stews. However, a boneless shank is tender when braised in liquids and savory seasonings. Allow plenty of time, because slow simmering brings out the best in this flavorful cut of meat. Incorporate vegetables for a complete one-pan meal.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pat the beef shanks dry with paper towels. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, and then stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Dredge the beef shanks in the seasoned flour to lightly coat all sides.
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Heat the oil until it is shimmering not but not smoking.
Place a few shanks in the hot oil, and then brown the meat quickly on all sides. Brown the shanks in batches and don't crowd the pan. Crowding causes the temperature of the oil to drop, resulting in greasy meat. Allow the oil to regain temperature between batches.
Transfer the browned shanks to a plate. Set them aside.
Add bay leaves, garlic, celery, onions and carrots to the hot oil. Saute the vegetables for about two minutes.
Add wine or apple cider. Stir thoroughly, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
Add beef broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
Return the beef shanks to the pan. Place the lid on the pan, and then transfer the pan to the oven.
Bake the shanks for two to three hours, or until the vegetables are tender, the liquid is thick and the meat is falling from the bones.
Transfer the meat and vegetables to a serving platter. If the liquid is too thin, return the pan to the burner and simmer the liquid until it thickens into a sauce.
Serve the beef shanks with the thickened sauce. If you prefer a smooth sauce, pour the liquid through a strainer.
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