So, maybe I have a reputation for being the chick that will figure out what to do with the cow bits that no one else wants to mess with. I may have gained that reputation by asking for (begging, really) the parts of the cow that no one wants to mess with. So I have this pile of shank....
It was only a few years ago that I was asking the dude in Hy-Vee how one might cook a steak. Now I'm on my fifth batch of homebrew beef stock and have managed to turn Elk knuckles into soup. Now that made my house smell odd.
I have five sections of shank, each about an inch thick. I browned them and put them in my crock pot with some salt. The plan is to make Phu from the juices and shred the beef for my tall son's barbeque beef sandwich obsession. We'll see how that goes.
See that book over there? This is the second book by the woman who wrote Julie and Julia. They made it into a movie. Really, you can just watch the movie and you'll pretty much get it. In Cleaving, Julie decides to be an apprentice butcher. The meat parts are really interesting and kind of hilarious. However, her relationship is dying (perhaps because she's constantly confusing it with a side of beef and always hacking away at it.) The book is painful, but would be a good read for fall, especially if you live in the midwest, where reading a painful book in February can land you with a box of kleenex in one hand and a prescription in the other.
I blame this somewhat terrible book for my willingness to cook unfamiliar bits of meat. Our family cow has gone to meet his maker, and what he left behind will feed us for then next year or so. I asked for the tail, tongue, liver, and knuckles. Should be interesting. My brother in law got the heart. He promised me a bite.