The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


January 26, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Winter Comfort Food on A Budget

In January we all have some common goals. Stay warm and pay off some of those Christmas bills that are coming in. Also, with the rising cost of food, economical recipes are a plus.

This is why perusing the meat counter for less expensive cuts could mean extra money in your pocket. This recipe calls for a beef shank. The flip side to these less expensive cuts is they require longer cooking times to make the meat tender, warm and delicious.

Osso Bucco is an Italian dish that means hole in a bone. It is traditionally made with a veal or lamb shank, which is a cross section of the shin of a leg.

I made this over the weekend for the Winter in Tuscany dinner I had at Sabor a Pasion and used beef shanks because they are more economical and create a larger portion.

The meat is braised which means it is seared in a pan then liquid is added and it cooks in the oven at a low temperature for several hours.

The reason for the attention being paid to the hole in the bone is because of the marrow. After the shank is cooked many consider the marrow in the middle of the bone a delectable prize. Give this a try and you will experience the ultimate winter comfort food.


4 pieces of beef shank (1 for each person)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup oil

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 large onions, sliced

Several bay leaves (2 per shank)

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1 large can diced tomatoes (enough for 4 shanks)

Season the beef shanks with salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan or dutch oven  heat to high on the stovetop. Add the oiland sear the shanks until browned on the outside. Cover with the carrots, onion slices and bay leaves. Pour in the wine and tomatoes.  Cover and place in a 350 degree oven for at least two hours. If the meat is not fork tender and shreddable it is not ready. Continue to cook until it is very tender. Add water to the pan if the liquid begins to reduce too much. When ready serve with the sauce and vegetables around the meat.


Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.


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