Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Beef shank stew with turnips: The first creation

with 3 comments

UPDATE: It’s in the oven. Revisions in boldface below. The recipe filled my 6-qt pot, though still with adequate room for cooking and stirring from time to time. /update

UPDATE 2: Delicious and satisfying on dark, cold, snowy day. I figure it’s 51 WW points total (9 duckfat, 8 olive oil, 34 beef shanks (after subtracting bones), and 5.5 qts = 22 1-cup serves = 3 points per serving, at most. /update

In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, included in the list of books I find myself repeatedly recommending, he talks about the first creation of something (the plan, the blueprint, the recipe) and the second creation (implementing the plan, building the structure, preparing the food). Just as the first creation must precede the second, so too (he advises) you should define your life goals and direction early (the first creation) and then live it (the second). Without the first creation, the second lacks direction: you can’t tell when you’re off track if you don’t know the track.

I got to thinking about what I might make with some great beef shanks my butcher, Farm & Field, now has on hand:

I came up with my first creation, a recipe. (I just made this up. After I actually make and eat the dish, I’ll return and modify it where modification is required.)

2 tablespoon duck fat, divided (I have a tub of duck fat from that butcher, and I’m using it up)
2-3 good beef shanks, preferably thick (4 pounds, as it turned out, counting bones)
1/2 cup seasoned flour

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium leeks, sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
large or 2 medium carrots, diced or rolling cut (cut off end of carrot at 45º, then roll carrot 1/4 turn after each cut)
4-5 small turnips, cut into small chunks (quartered, each quarter cut into 3 pieces)
1 cup celery, chopped
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 bunch parsley, chopped

28 oz canned diced tomatoes (1 large can or 2 14-oz cans)
juice of 2 lemons
3/4 lb mushrooms, either small or quartered
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
3 Tbsp horseradish (get it from the refrigerated section)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 star anise, 8 whole allspice, 6 whole cloves wrapped in cheesecloth or in herb bag
1/2 cup pot barley (I never knew about this until I moved to Canada; you can substitute hulled (whole-grain) barley (pot barley is basically steel-cut), but please, not pearled barley—have some respect)
1.5 cup red wine

2-4 tablespoons cognac

Cut shanks into smallish chunks, dredge in seasoned flour, and brown in duck fat. I browned the floured meat in two batches. Use 1 Tbsp duck fat for each of the two batches.

This in effect creates a roux, which will thicken the stew (though perhaps coals to Newcastle, given the barley, but I do like thick stews).

Remove browned meat to bowl, add olive oil, and cook leeks, carrots, celery, anchovy fillets, and parsley for 5-10 minutes

Add the bones from the shanks, along with the browned meat, tomatoes, lemon juice, herbs, spices, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, barley, and wine, cover, and cook all day in a 200ºF oven.

Just before serving stir in 2-4 tablespoons cognac

Written by LeisureGuy

9 February 2019 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Low carb, Recipes

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Michael,

    An interesting recipe for stew, and yes there is something wonderful about a hearty stew on a cold dark winter day!

    I don’t understand this thing about duck fat. Somehow it’s unfamiliar to me. Why do you use it? Wouldn’t virgin olive oil also do the deed, and arguably be healthier?

    Steve Riehle

    12 February 2019 at 1:35 pm

  2. Duck fat tastes good, and once I have a tub, I like to use it up before it goes over. Duck fat seems particularly good with vegetables, particularly roasted or fried potatoes (but those I don’t eat). Duck fat is not really bad (not like coconut oil, which I use but very rarely), but EVOO probably is better. Still, variety is the spice of life, and fat is an important macronutrient. See this note from Harvard Medical School. And duck fat does have some virtues.

    Basically, I buy it once in a while for a change of pace, and once I have it, I use it frequently. But as I’ve pointed out before, the recipes I post are descriptions of what I did, and I assume anyone making the recipe will alter it to suit their taste. My taste likes duck fat from time to time. 🙂


    12 February 2019 at 1:54 pm

  3. BTW, I fully expected people to use onions instead of leeks. Indeed, I would have used onions but The Wife tolerates leeks better, and so long as I have an allium, I’m happy.

    And also BTW, occasionally when I’m in at Farm & Field, I’ll pick up a smoked duck breast, which itself has a fair amount of fat: very tasty, very nutritious.


    12 February 2019 at 5:50 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.