Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Southwestern Peppered Cross-Cut Beef Shanks

If you like it spicy you are going to love this dish. If not, you can adjust the heat and turn it down a bit. This is a cross between a pot roast and pepper steak but with a purely southwestern flare. I used an inexpensive cut of beef, the cross-cut beef shank, lots of wonderful fresh poblano and anaheim peppers and plenty of good quality chile powders. To lessen the heat just omit the chile chipotle powder and use additional chile ancho powder or your favorite kind. The poblano and anaheim peppers are not too hot but add a great depth to the flavor as they disintegrate into the thick and rich sauce. This is a low and slow dish and is great for a Sunday evening dinner or if you are lucky enough to have the time on a weeknight. I hope you enjoy.

Southwestern Peppered Cross-Cut Beef Shanks


4 cross-cut beef shanks, about 6 ounces each, trimmed of any visible fat
2 tsp. chile ancho powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup onions, sliced
1 cup anaheim peppers, sliced (you can substitute cubanelle if preferred)
1 1/2 cups poblano peppers, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground annatto
1 tsp. chile chipotle powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Mexican oregano (substitute regular if not available)
2 cups low sodium beef stock
2 tsp. liquid smoke, either hickory or mesquite
2 cups Corona Light beer
2 cups water
1 cup tomato, diced
1 tsp. agave nectar
black pepper

Season the beef shanks on both sides with about 1/4 teaspoon each chile ancho powder, cumin and black pepper. Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottomed dutch oven or other pot and brown the beef. Remove and reserve on a plate.

Add the poblano and anaheim peppers, onions, spices, herbs and the rest of the chile ancho powder and cumin. Saute about 2 minutes or so while stirring. Add the garlic and continue to saute another 2 to 3 minutes while stirring. Add the beef stock, beer, water and tomatoes and stir to distribute. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beef shanks are fork tender.

When the beef shanks are tender remove from pot and reserve on plate loosely covered with aluminum foil to keep them hot. Reduce the sauce by about half. It will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Serve the sauce over the beef shanks.

Nutritional Facts
4 Servings of 3 Ounces Beef with Bone Discarded and 1/4 Portion of Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 346.6
Total Fat 13.4 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.6 g
Cholesterol 66.0 mg
Sodium 393.5 mg
Potassium 526.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 0.9 g
Protein 32.7 g

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