I'm staring at a six-pound boneless beef shank...and wondering what to do...

SJ Weiss

New member
Folks,

Just picked up a box of meat from a local butcher, and the centerpiece is a six-pound chili-and-fennel rubbed boneless beef shank.

Never dealt with this cut before, and I'm wondering what to do. Well, I know what I want to do--smoke it! The whole thing! But I'm not sure how to go about it.

I've seen on this board and elsewhere that folks have cut beef shanks up into osso-bucco-style sections and braised them, but that's not my goal--especially since it came pre-rubbed.

Any thoughts on pit temp, target temp, and estimated time? Is it going to "perform" similar to a brisket? Or more like a pork shoulder?

Should I spray it? If so, with what?

How about when, and if, to wrap? I have both aluminum foil and butcher paper on hand.

Also, if someone wants to burst my bubble and insist that braising (either whole or in pieces) is the better option, I'll hear them out. Although I'd be disappointed if it has to come to that!

Thanks!
 

Rich G

TVWBB Guru
I've never cooked a whole shank, but if I were thinking of doing it on the WSM, I would probably go with a smoke, then braise approach. Maybe 2-3 hours on the grate for smoke, then into an aluminum pan with some sort of braising liquid and some root veggies or something. Beef shank is pretty tough, so needs quite a bit of time, and is most often cooked with some sort of braise. Here's one recipe I found which could give you some ideas.... https://jesspryles.com/recipe/how-to-make-smoked-beef-shank/

Whatever you decide to do, check back in with us and let us know how it goes!!

R
 

SJ Weiss

New member
Rich--thanks for the advice. Based on a conversation with the butcher from whom I bought the meat, however, I ended up doing something completely different:

First: I put the meat, still vacuum sealed, into a sous vide bath for 72 hours at 144 degrees;​
Second: I plunged it into an ice bath for about an hour;​
Third: I opened up the bag, drained the liquid, dried off the meat, and kept it in my fridge for about three or four hours to completely dry; and​
Fourth: I smoked it for about two hours at 200 degrees, with a chunk of cherry wood and a chunk of white oak.​

It worked--turned out really well!

It was an interesting piece of meat, never had anything like it before--in a way, it was almost "ham-ish," especially as (tasty) left-overs.

But it was very good, and a great change of pace from the typical stuff that I grill and smoke. I'm not sure I'll ever suddenly have a craving to seek another one out, but I wouldn't shy away from picking one up if I found it on sale. And it was certainly a pleasant surprise in the box of meat that I purchased.

If I did get another one someday, I would follow the same process. And, based on this experience, I'm thinking of trying to cook brisket and pork shoulder using this method. If anyone has tried anything similar with those cuts of meat, I'd love to hear it.
 

Rich G

TVWBB Guru
Thanks for the details on what you ended up doing! Sounds perfect, and I'm surprised that I didn't suggest sous vide as an option......great way to get this cut nice and tender. I'll fill this away in my "should-do" list! :)

R
 

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