Asian Braised Beef and Carrots

I was meandering around the meat section of my local supermarket, bemoaning the high cost of meat when I spotted cross-cut beef shanks at $2.99 per pound. Sold! Each piece of meat was flat, about 1/2 inch thick and had a large round bone in the middle.  I trimmed off the fat that was on the outer edges of the meat, but left in the bones.  When the braise was finished, I scooped the marrow out of the bones and stirred it back into the meat juices.  I’m sure you could easily modify this recipe to use any other cut of beef for stewing that you find.

I used a large, shallow, lidded skillet for this.  A casserole dish or Dutch oven would work as well. All of the meat should fit in the pan without overlapping.

2.5 lbs cross cut beef shank, trimmed of fat
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon wheat-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (sweetened rice wine for cooking)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled, cut into chunks

Rub the trimmed meat with the five spice powder and the fresh ginger.  Combine the liquid ingredients and pour over the meat, coating the meat thoroughly.  Sprinkle the meat generously with salt and pepper.  Let marinate for at least an hour, longer if you can.

Preheat the oven to 275F. Put all of the meat and marinade into your casserole or skillet.  Add the carrots.  Cover and let cook in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours.  When done, the meat should be very easy to shred with a fork.  Remove from the oven. Discard the bones and any chunks of fat remaining in the meat.  Shred the meat with two forks.  Serve hot over rice.

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