Even though our favorite groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring, we know better. We’re still in for weeks of old man winter. So chase away the chill and get head-to-toe warm inside. Cook up a big pot of luxurious, rich Spiced Braised Beef Shanks.
One of the secrets to this stellar recipe is the aromatic spice rub. It’s a fragrant mélange of pan-toasted coriander, cumin, caraway and mustard seeds. Heating the seeds changes their character and deepens their flavor. Then, they’re ground and mixed with the earthy heat of ancho or chipotle chili powder. Now doesn’t that sound like it will thaw things out a bit?
Stew it up low and slow in our colorful Le Creuset Signature Braiser. This enameled cast iron pot distributes heat evenly to break down tough cuts of meat and cook vegetables to perfection. And oversized handles make carrying it to the serving table a beautiful thing. In the end, the beef shanks are fall-off-the-bone tender, and the gravy is silky with back notes of garlic, caramelized onion and red wine. We guarantee, even the heartiest of appetites will melt away.
Courtesy of Le Creuset
Makes 4–6 servings
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoons ancho or chipotle chili powder
6 beef shanks
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups dry red Zinfandel or syrah wine
2 bay leaves
Chicken or beef stock as needed
18–24 small carrots, with tops, scrubbed and trimmed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup chopped parsley
Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare the spice rub by toasting whole seeds in a pan until fragrant. Using a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the toasted seeds with the chili powder.
Season beef shanks liberally with salt and pepper, then dust with the spice rub on both sides. Heat a 3 ½ quart braiser over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil once hot. Brown the meat until dark brown on both sides, about 4–6 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Lower the heat to medium. Sweat the onion, celery and garlic in the pan until the onion is translucent. Add tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened. Pour in the wine and scrape all browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by ¼, about 10 minutes.
Return the beef shanks to the pan, along with the bay leaves. Pour in enough stock to come about ⅔ of the way up the meat; the meat should not be covered by the liquid. Cover with the lid and place in the oven. Let cook for 2 ½ hours until very tender.
Add the carrots and replace the lid. Return to the oven and let cook an additional 20–30 minutes. Remove the beef and the carrots to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Remove the bay leaves and any other solids with a slotted spoon, and discard. Skim the fat from the surface. At this point, the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it doesn’t, reduce it a bit more.
Turn off the heat and swirl in the butter. Combine the parsley and orange zest. Serve the shanks with carrots and sauce, and garnish with the zest mixture.
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And explore our collection of Le Creuset cookware and tools.
Are your competitive juices flowing for The Big Game yet? We know a tasty way to kick things off… While Denver and Carolina clash on the gridiron, nosh on your own culinary matchup: pulled-pork sandwiches smothered with either North Carolina barbecue sauce or authentic Colorado green chile. We asked two local-favorite restaurants to supply their signature recipes for this face-off.
In this end zone, from Adelitas Cocina y Cantina in south Denver, is a tangy, citrusy salsa verde made with poblano chiles and a hint of sweetness. At the other end, from the Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden, North Carolina, is the kind of vinegar-based barbecue sauce the state is famous for.
And the best thing about this matchup is no one will go home defeated or hungry.
On game day, fill a serving bowl with smoky, succulent pulled pork. Stack some warm hamburger buns on the side. And flank the feast with a blue bowl of Skylight Inn’s barbecue and an orange bowl of Adelitas’ green chile sauce.
Then … let the games (and the eating) begin.
Courtesy of Adelitas Cocina y Cantina, Denver
(makes 5-8 servings)
2 pounds tomatillos
2 large poblano peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion
3 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
Soak tomatillos in warm water so as to peel and clean. Place tomatillos in a large sauce pan. Add water, garlic, onion and jalapenos, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Mixture will change to a pale green color when done.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast poblano peppers on a baking sheet until skin blisters and turns black. Remove from oven and cover with plastic or a towel until cool. Remove skin and seeds.
Blend the tomatillo mixture with poblanos. Use an handheld blender because it’s safer with hot liquids.
In a pot, heat oil and carefully add the mixture and sugar. Season with salt.
Courtesy of Skylight Inn BBQ, North Carolina
(makes 5-8 servings)
6 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
8 ounces sweet barbecue sauce
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended.
As the snowbanks rise and sunless days seem like they’ll stretch on forever, it’s easy to succumb to the winter doldrums. The good news? Now you can leave the winter blues behind, without ever checking a bag or taxiing on the tarmac.
Instead of jetting off to the Caribbean, why not bring the tropics home?
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Born of trade winds, and infused with the vivacious spirit of the Caribbean, your personal paradise awaits. Shop our Urban Oasis collection now, and create your own tropical escape.
When Marco Polo traveled through China in the 13th century, he called his discoveries the marvels of the world. Some of his most vivid descriptions are of the luxurious rugs he admired, “worked in silk and gold, noble and very rich.”
Things haven’t changed. Gorgeous heirloom rugs are still coveted works of art. What HAS changed is the way we live. Now rugs must endure the rigors of active families and accident-prone pets, all the while looking like masterpieces.
That’s why we’ve chosen to create new-to-look-old rugs from the finest modern materials. We love this approach because these rugs look handed-down for generations but they will last for many more.
Our vintage-wash instant heirloom rugs are powerloomed of lustrous 100% viscose yarns. They have the well-worn look of a palace antique but don’t cost a kings’ ransom. Run your fingertips across the pile and you’ll feel a difference too. Supple, silky and soft on bare feet.
Our collection is meticulously dyed and dappled with distressed patterns for an aged patina. The muted tones have warmth and depth. The low-pile is inspired by hand-knotted heirlooms. And the machine woven ultra-soft organic viscose is made for everyday life.
Persian motifs are captured in our hand-knotted rugs. Crafted of 100% hand-spun bamboo viscose, considered one of the finest fibers on earth, these rugs harmonize perfectly with modern interiors in deep shades of slate, mocha and satiny silver.
Ancestral design meets 21st-century materials with our EZ Care rug collection. We purposefully make this grouping to withstand almost anything today’s homes and inhabitants can dish out.
The secret is face-to-face Wilton woven of 100% heat-set Courtron™ polypropylene. If you examined the pile under magnification you’d see an excess of one million points of yarn per square meter, making it feel as plush and indulgent as it is easy to maintain.
And last but not least, warm up the floorboards of that narrow hallway or the space between kitchen counter and island with one of our EZ-care runners. Timelessly pretty and supremely practical, they’re resilient enough to repel even red wine stains.
Vintage appeal made for modern living. See more of our room enhancing, vintage rugs.
Discover more ways to polish off the look on Pinterest.
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