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Beef Shank Sauce Over Polenta

FOOD & WINE Wine Club Beef Shank Sauce Over Polenta FOOD & WINE Wine Club Beef Shank Sauce Over Polenta
This rich, wintery braise gets its intensity from hours of hands-off simmering and is fantastic over polenta or pasta.
Servings: Makes 10 cups
Active Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 hour
5 pounds trimmed beef shanks, cut 2 inches thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups dry red wine
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
Cooked polenta or pasta, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the shanks to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining shanks.

2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the casserole. Add the onions, celery, carrots and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are very soft and golden, 15 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Return the shanks and any accumulated juices to the casserole. Cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.

3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the shanks to a plate and let cool slightly. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and scrape out marrow from the bones. Add the meat and marrow to the sauce and rewarm over moderately low heat. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and serve with polenta or pasta. —Anya Fernald

MAKE AHEAD The shank sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.