Most of us know the shank as being a plain ole tough piece of meat that is only good for one thing and that is for soups, stews and making beef stock. If you were just to grill it or smoke it then it would just be super tough grizzly and unedible.
It looks like it would be as tasty as a good tenderloin doesn't it? Good yes, tender NO....unless it's cooked differently than we cook and smoke most beef. When i began this experiment i had NO idea how long i'd have to cook it or even if it would even work so i only started with 2 good size shanks.
My method of cook was going to be charcoal and smoke so i broke the cook down into different steps.
Step 1) 12:00 Season the shanks and get them on the mini. I seasoned with Jack Stack All Purpose and Montreal Steak...great combo I also put a small dish on the mini's bottom shelf to catch some drippings.
Step 2) With out knowing how long this process was going to take wanted to get good smoke on it and get it up to temp so i put the PitmasterIQ on the WSM mini and got it up to 250 degrees. I smoked it until the IT was 145 degrees.
Step 3) Appx 1:15 Since this is going to be a long cook for these couple small pieces of meat i wanted to lower the pit temp to 200 degrees or less. The IQ made this very easy. With charcoal and wood chunks you won't get much smoke at these temps but you will still get all the good combustion gasses of the charcoal which also adds to your flavor and smoke ring.
Step 4) 4:00 The braising process. I put the took foil and formed a foil bowl , put the shanks in with beef broth... semi loosley cover it with a foil lid so smoke still has access to the meat. I set the IQ for 225 and walked away, i did check on the broth every hour or so and if it needed i poured it over the shanks to keep it moist. Also add beef broth to the drippings when necessary.
I did occasionaly check the IT with an instant read thermometer but that was more to get an idea of what was going on and to check the tenderness. I pulled these about 8:15 PM when one of the shank bones pulled away when i was checking it... I knew it was done.
There's the process i used for very tender, tasty pulled beef shanks. I added the drippings and juice back in but another option i might try when i do this on a larger scale is to make beef gravy from the drippings.
Sauteed onions on the sammies.
Something new to try! Thanks for looking!