Last night we celebrated Beetnik’s 1st anniversary with a chef throwdown at our Beetnik home in East Austin. The common ingredient was beef shin. Beef shin is the fores shank of the animal and is best known when it is cross cut for use in Osso Bucco. The shin is very high in fibrous membranes which break down over a long period of time, but which have tremendous flavor. There’s also a large amount of gelatin that can be extracted from the bone and which makes for a rich and flavorful stock or sauce.
Here’s how we prepared the shins. First we braised the shins for 3 hours at 250F, in a stock we’d made from some of the extra marrow bones, along with some aromatics (onion, leek, carrots & celery) and which was infused with a mixture of arbol, pasilla, and ancho chile powders.
When the shins were finished braising, they were removed from the braising liquid, which we strained and kept for another use. The shins were patted dry and then we put a dry rub of spices on the meat, at which point we headed for the smoker and proceed to smoke the shins with mesquite for another 3 hours at about 180F. You have to be sure to keep the temperature low enough to ensure that the shins don’t dry out.
When they’re done being smoked, the shin meat has a nice seasoned crust and a tender and flavorful taste. The meat was then removed from the bone, and served over chipotle sweet potatoes and spinach, and finished with an apple ancho bourbon sauce, cilantro oil, and fried sweet shallots.