Weekend Review {red wine braised beef shank}

And just like that, the weekend comes to an end and another work week begins.  But before we get the work part started, let me rewind.

Friday evening we had plans to attend the first wine dinner of 2015 with our wine club, Friends of the Vine.  The wine dinner was a 90+ Point Wine dinner.

We sipped our way through dinner with two whites, two reds and a dessert wine.  The wine that surprised me the most was a chardonnay that was poured during the social hour.  I typically do not enjoy chardonnays but this particular one was not oaky and butter but instead crisp and refreshing.  The syrah was a wine that was much better with food and the sauvignon blanc was the perfect balance of grassy and grapefruit.  Such a fun evening with new and old friends.

Saturday we found ourselves heading to Raleigh to run errands and enjoy lunch.  Once home, we got started on the Red Wine Braised Beef Shank.  Beef shank is a new-to-my-kitchen ingredient as we typically find ourselves leaning to recipes utilizing short ribs.  I was excited to cook a new cut of meat.  Especially when braised in red wine.

The recipe comes from the Easy Gourmet cookbook by the blogger i am a food blog.  The beef shank is seasoned liberally with salt and pepper before being seared in a Dutch oven until browned on each side (about 5 minutes).

Smashed garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste, and a quartered onion is sauteed before adding in the red wine, a little water and a sprig of rosemary.  The beef shank cooks low for about 4 hours.

While dinner was cooking, we enjoyed cocktail hour and a movie (Taken 2).  I made myself a French 75 with gin, fresh lemon and simple syrup.

Several hours later, dinner was ready.  I served the braised beef shank over a creamy bowl of polenta.

The braised beef shank was incredibly tender and the mushrooms were one of my favorite components of the meal.

The perfect bowl of comfort for a date night at home.

Sunday came way too fast but was quite the productive day as we prepared for the upcoming weekend festivities.  Big Guy broke in his new (and bigger) smoker, The Bandit.  Smokey will be finding a new home soon where we knew he’ll be loved and taken care of well.  I also prepped lots and lots of barbecue sauce.

Looking at the calendar we are quite busy the next several weekends so it was nice to enjoy some time at home as well as getting things done around the house.

Ok, Monday, let’s do this.

 

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