Beef Shanks: It's just not for soups and stews anymore. Smoked and Pulled Beef Shank with better Q

Discussion in 'Beef' started by fwismoker, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Most of us know the shank as being a plain ole tough piece of meat that is only good for one thing and that is for soups, stews and making beef stock.  If you were just to grill it or smoke it then it would  just be super tough grizzly  and unedible. 

    It looks like it would be as tasty as a good tenderloin doesn't it?  Good yes, tender NO....unless it's cooked differently than we cook and smoke most beef.   When i began this experiment i had NO idea how long i'd have to cook it or even if it would even work so i only started with 2 good size shanks.

    My method of cook was going to be charcoal and smoke so i broke the cook down into different steps.

    Step 1) 12:00 Season the shanks and get them on the mini. I seasoned with Jack Stack All Purpose and Montreal Steak...great combo   I also put a small dish on the mini's bottom shelf to catch some drippings.

    Step 2)  With out knowing how long this process was going to take wanted to get good smoke on it and get it up to temp so i put the PitmasterIQ on the WSM mini and got it up to 250 degrees.   I smoked it until the IT was 145 degrees.

    Step 3) Appx 1:15 Since this is going to be a long cook for these couple small pieces of meat i wanted to lower the pit temp to 200 degrees or less.  The IQ made this very easy.  With charcoal and wood chunks you won't get much smoke at these temps but you will still get all the good combustion gasses of the charcoal which also adds to your flavor and smoke ring. 

    Step 4) 4:00  The braising process.   I put the took foil and formed a foil bowl , put the shanks in with beef broth... semi loosley cover it with a foil lid so smoke still has access to the meat.   I set the IQ for 225 and walked away, i did check on the broth every hour or so and if it needed i poured it over the shanks to keep it moist. Also add beef broth to the drippings when necessary.

    I did occasionaly check the IT with an instant read thermometer but that was more to get an idea of what was going on and to check the tenderness.  I pulled these about 8:15 PM when one of the shank bones pulled away when i was checking it... I knew it was done.

    There's the process i used for very tender, tasty pulled beef shanks. I added the drippings and juice back in but another option i might try when i do this on a larger scale is to make beef gravy from the drippings.

    Sauteed onions on the sammies.

    Something new to try!   Thanks for looking!
    disco likes this.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks pretty tasty! Guess I'm going to have to look into the party Q for some lower temp no tend smokes!
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I haven't tried the Partyq at super low temps like 200 and lower but I can.. I'll check it on the next mini cook and see. The pitmasteriq did great though.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah I've been looking at the party q because we dry camp where there's no power. It would be cool to be able to set the mini and forget it go paddle the lake or stir up some dust with the enduro!
  5. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I bet that is absolutely delicious ! I have had beef marrow and I've used roasted beef bones in my spaghetti sauce. Those bones are packed with flavor.
    That's a really ambitious dish. Thanks for sharing.
  6. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good!  Save that marrow for some stock.

  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Thanks ham and Kat... Kat part of it ended up in the pull and the pooches got a treat with the bones.. Lol They were salivating for them. I feel so bad for them having to smell that Q
    all day!
  8. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And the best part is they're cheap!! Looks like a great meal. I bet oxtails would work much the same way. The grocery store in my neighborhood usually has one or the other for around $.99 a pound.
  9. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Ah.. funny you said that about the oxtlails because the butcher said not to bother unless I was doing soup. I come to find out that is popular in Jamaica. I'm picking up both the next time I'm there.. Might do both at the same time.
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What a great project. I am going to have to add this to my to do list. Thanks for the idea.

  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks fantastic!  I love beef shanks...great beefy flavor, and when cooked right they are delicious. 

    Not to gross anyone out, but smoked beef marrow is out-of-this-world fantastic when spread on some bread or crackers (or best yet, a soft pretzel!).

    Thanks for a great post!

  12. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Clarissa thanks for the compliment! I saw you and Webo talking about them and it got me thinking... dangerous right? Haha
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Disco might work great in your cooker!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  14. I was not sure what to do with these other than make soup. Great idea!
  15. rhnewfie

    rhnewfie Fire Starter

    That looks great!
  16. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Nice work. I've thought of flavor boiling them for an hour to break them down and render the fat out. Then smoke em good! Looks like a successful smoke!
  17. Looks great!

    I use oxtails in Chef JJ's Smoky Au Jus for Brisket and my Prime Rib Au Jus, then take all the meat off them, add some of the Au Jus to the pulled meat and they make the best "Philly's". Usually oxtail (when I can find it) runs between $5-6 per lb.
  18. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I agree with the marrow... good good stuff.

    And Keith.... Im Glad your Bone fell off the Shank :p

    Glad we got some good pictures up of it... Ive been waiting for like 2 WHOLE days..

    Seriously.. they look great!!! Whats for next weekend ?

  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Mike I'm surprised you you remember after the stooper.. Lol  jk

    One thing I'm going to do is find  a couple of small birds and do some testing on the mini  doing multiple birds at once with different seasoning methods .  If it doesn't go perfect at least I won't ruin much. 
  20. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Alesia.. I bet the oxtails are good for that.. They looked delicious at the butcher. Time for more experiments))

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