Sunday, February 16, 2014

Beer Braised Beef Shanks and Creamy Black Pepper Polenta

Tonight we had what is our favorite Beef Shank recipe. Beer Braised Beef Shanks. The recipe was from La Cucina Italiana site. The meat melts in your mouth and the broth is so smooth. 

Ingredients -
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 pounds meaty cross-cut beef shanks (about 4 osso buco)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 (14.9-ounce) cans dark beer such as Guinness
2 cups beef broth

Method -
In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven or wide heavy pot with lid, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

In a large heavy skillet, melt 2 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. In batches, brown shanks, 3 to 4 minutes per side, wiping pan and adding up to 1/2 tablespoon more butter, if necessary.

Transfer shanks to a cutting board. Cut meat off bones (reserve bones); cut meat into 1-inch pieces. Transfer meat and bones to pot with onions; stir in paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Add beer and 1 cup broth; bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, adding remaining cup broth to pot as necessary to keep meat covered by at least 1 inch, until meat is very tender, about 2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat, bones and onions to a large bowl. Into a second large bowl, strain braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve; put any remaining onions into bowl with meat. Remove marrow from bones and stir into meat mixture; discard bones. Adjust seasoning.

As a side dish we had Creamy Black Pepper Polenta. The recipe is from the Family Celebration with the Cake Boss.Yes it is our featured cookbook this week! This was the best polenta I have made.

Creamy Black Pepper Polenta
Ingredients -
2 cups milk, or more as needed
2 cups of chicken stock, or more as needed
3 tsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup instant polenta
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method -
Fill a medium saucepan with milk, 2 cups chicken stock or water, the kosher salt, and the bay leaf; bring to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a very thin stream, whisking constantly and vigorously, so that no clumps form. Simmer until the polenta is thickened (it should still be slightly runny; add more chicken stock, milk or water as needed to adjust the consistency) about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn down the heat to very low and stir in the butter and black pepper. Remove the bay leaf. Serve immediately.

For breakfast, I made Orange Ginger Glazed Scones. I found a recipe for Glazed Lemon Ginger Sconed on the Food and Wine site. But I wanted Orange scones so I made some changes. I used Orange and Lemon zest and switched the Heavy Cream for plain Greek yogurt.

Ingredients -
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
3 tablespoons cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Method -
Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk the flour with the granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, orange zest  and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cream and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice; fold in the candied ginger.

On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the dough just until it comes together. Pat into a 9-inch round, a scant 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges and arrange them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly firm and lightly browned on the bottom, pale on top. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining 3 tablespoons of orange juice until the glaze is smooth (you may need to add more juice). Drizzle the orange glaze over the scones and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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