Sunday, April 3, 2011

Braised beef shank and saffron mashed potatoes

The second culinary highlight I hit on the road trip?

Marin Sun Farms!!!! Here in Northern California it is a well known farm that sells 100% grass fed beef. 

I first became familiar with them when I was feeding my dogs a raw diet (a long story ) and they were a great resource. But one day I ordered some meat for myself and OMG!! Outstanding!

I saw this sign on our way to the lighthouse and my thought was, "How nice they serve Marin Sun Farms meat" - on the way back I realized it WAS Marin Sun Farms and we had to stop :-)

They have an adorable cafe - but I will show those pictures another day.

First - the star of the show today:

Grass fed beef shank (center cut).
When I brought this out the dogs went nutty. Sure, they are interested if I have beef - but for this stuff? they went really overboard.

This is Abby trying to inhale the meat:

I am not sure what Connor is doing here because the meat was sitting on top of the white paper - maybe a ninja attack on the meat??

This can be a tough cut of meat so it takes a long cooking time to make it juicy and tender.

After 1 1/2 hours of cooking I enjoyed this:

Braised beef shank with saffron mashed potatoes.

And the dogs gobbled up this:

Crostini topped with braised beef shank with a dollop of marrow and a garnish of cilantro.

I modified this recipe from Emeril Lagasse.

The cooking started with coating the meat lightly in flour seasoned with salt and pepper:

Shake off the excess flour and brown the meat in a pan on high heat with 3 Tbsp. of olive oil.

Remove the meat and add in chopped shallot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, carrot and celery.

When the shallot becomes translucent, deglaze the pan with white wine making sure to stir up all the dark bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Add in 1 1/2 quarts of stock (I was almost out of stock so I used 1 cup of chicken stock and the rest was water).

Bring it back up to a simmer and add the meat back in.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours. 

For the saffron potatoes - I boiled 2 large Yukon potatoes until tender - drained them and mashed them with a fork and folded in a few strands of saffron and 2 Tbsp. of creme fraiche.

I will admit that I am a wimp when it comes to textures. I steer clear of fatty bits of meat or connective tissue - so I ended up cutting up the beef shank.

The marrow and connective tissue is filled with nutrition but some gets cooked out into the broth so if you are a texture wimp like me - you can still enjoy all the healthy goodness from the cooking liquid.

If you notice - I gave the dogs all the pieces with the chewy bits:

Monday is looming - I am off to relax for the rest of tonight!


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