Braised Beef Shanks, Northern Germany-Style

>> Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Braised Beef Shanks, Northern Germany-Style

If you were traveling along the northern coast of Germany, on the North Sea side or the edge of the Baltic Sea, you might come across this creamy and substantial meal of beef shanks, bacon, vegetables, and sour cream. You might need a meal that fortifies your belly, too - the winds and snow hitting coastal towns make one crave something hearty for dinner.

This dish satisfies, and it's one you can prepare and then braise until you're ready to serve it, depending on the temperature of your oven or crockery cooker.


1/4 pound thickly-sliced bacon, diced
3 pounds beef or veal shanks, cut about 2 inches thick
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp marjoram
1 cup beef broth
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp flour

Sauté the bacon until tender but not crispy. Set on paper towels to drain. Put the beef shanks in the pan and brown on all sides. Place in a Dutch oven, roasting pan, or slow cooker. Add the vegetables, bacon, and herbs. Pour the beef broth over the meat and put the lid on the pot.

Cook at an even temperature until you are ready to eat. The meat should be fork-tender but not falling apart. With a 250 degree oven, or a crock pot on low heat, you could cook this for 6 to 8 hours, or it will be done in 1 1/2 to 2 hours in an oven at 375 degrees.

When done, take out the meat and put it on a platter, covering it with foil to keep it warm. Leave the vegetables in the pan. Skim the fat from the pan drippings and add 1 cup hot water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until barely simmering.

Whisk the sour cream with the flour until smooth, then stir into the pan drippings until smooth. Heat this sauce without boiling for 3-5 minutes, then pass the sauce with the meal.

Serves 4-6.


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