Succulent and juicy, my braised beef with mixed mushrooms is the ultimate in warming, home-cooked comfort food, and a delicious companion on a chilly evening. Prepared with beef shanks slow-braised in a savory sauce infused with red wine until perfectly tender, this braised beef recipe is extra cozy when spooned over top of fluffy mashed potatoes!
Braised Beef with Mixed Mushrooms, a cozy meal that warms the belly and soul
A savory, rich and meaty braise is the ultimate form of scrumptious “slow food”, and the epitome of what belly-warming and soul-comforting home cooking looks and tastes like.
While an earthy braise doesn't require much hands-on cooking in order to taste exquisitely flavorful, it does indeed benefit from the wonderful ingredients of love, nurture, care and patience to be generously sprinkled in so that each bite taken can be something truly special and cozy.
Braised beef is a favorite of mine to prepare, and this recipe is filled with deliciously earthy mixed mushrooms, plus beef stock and red wine, all contributing to the rich, savory and abundant sauce that the beef is gently simmered in.
When served over piping-hot mashed potatoes, this braised beef with mixed mushrooms becomes a warming companion on a chilly evening, perfect to gather around and share with loved ones.
How to Make Braised Beef Using Flavorful Beef Shanks
In order to prepare a mouthwatering braised beef recipe with lots of savoriness and of course succulent and tender beef, one must choose ingredients that will slowly release their flavor and lend some “body” during a long braising process.
An ideal cut of beef to use for this particular braise is beef shanks, because they are rich in collagen and that flavorful fat, which gently melts into the sauce as the beef cooks. This makes them easy to shred once tender, and then fold into the sauce.
Beef shanks also have a very “beefy” flavor, and a lot of that is derived from the bones as they simmer, releasing their flavorful marrow.
I also really love the flavor of dried mushrooms here, especially a mixed variety, and what I like to do is reconstitute them by adding some boiling water over top until they soften. Then, I strain this liquid of any debris, and actually use it as part of my braising liquid in addition to the beef stock and red wine.
Onions, garlic and some dried herbs are also important elements when it comes to hearty braised beef, as they release extra flavor into the sauce as it simmers.
Here's a glance at my braised beef with mixed mushrooms recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- Since I'm using dried mushrooms, I begin by pouring some boiling water over them to reconstitute, or rehydrate, them; once softened, I strain the liquid and reserve a portion of it, then slice the mushrooms and set them aside.
- Next, I season my beef shanks liberally with salt and cracked pepper, then sprinkle them lightly with flour and sear them off in the hot braising pan, on both sides, until browned.
- The shanks are then removed, and I add in my onions, some seasoning, then my garlic, followed by my reserved mushrooms; then, I pour in the red wine, beef stock and reserved mushroom “stock”.
- The seared beef shanks are nestled back into the pan, brought to a simmer, then covered and placed in the oven to braise, low and slow, for about 2 1/2 hours.
- Once cooked and tender, I allow the beef shanks to rest in the sauce for about 30 minutes, then carefully shred the meat and return it to the pan
- I finish the braised beef with fresh herbs, then serve it spooned over mashed potatoes.
Braised Beef with Mixed Mushrooms
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 627 calories
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
- 3 ounces dried mixed mushrooms
- Boiling water, to rehydrate mushrooms (roughly 3 cups)
- 3 to 3 1/2 pounds beef shanks (bone-in)
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, quartered and sliced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 1/2 cup red wine (use any red you'd drink alongside)
- 1 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
- Place the dried mushrooms into a large bowl, and pour enough boiling water over them to completely cover them (roughly 3 cups); cover the bowl, and allow the mushrooms to soak and rehydrate for 20 minutes; once rehydrated, strain the mushrooms through a fine sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer, and reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid, or “mushroom stock”; roughly chop the mushrooms, then set aside for a moment.
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Place the beef shanks onto a large plate or platter, and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt, some freshly-cracked black pepper, and the flour; place a large heavy bottom braising pot or pan over medium-high/high heat, and add about 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pot; once the oil is hot, add the beef shanks into the pot, and allow them to brown and caramelize for about 4-5 minutes on each side; once browned, remove the shanks from the pot, and set aside on a plate for a moment.
- Next, reduce the heat to low, and add into the pot the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter; once hot and melted, add in the sliced onion along with the Italian seasoning, and allow it to caramelize for a couple of moments, scraping up any tasty brown bits on the bottom of the pot; next, add in the garlic and stir, and once the garlic becomes aromatic, stir in the mushrooms.
- Pour in the red wine and allow it to vigorously bubble up, reducing for just 1 minute or so; next, add in the beef stock plus the 1 cup of reserved mushroom liquid from the soaking, then add the browned beef shanks back into the pot, nestling the shanks into the liquid; bring everything to the boil, cover, and place into the oven to braise for 2 1/2 hours.
- Once tender, remove the pan from the oven and allow the beef shanks to sit undisturbed for about 30 minutes to allow them to relax and slightly cool; then, remove the shanks, and using a fork and knife, carefully shred/chunk the beef into large, bite-sized pieces, and add back into the sauce.
- Fold in the fresh thyme leaves, and serve spooned over top of mashed potatoes (or even egg noodles) with lots of sauce.
Tips & Tidbits for my Braised Beef with Mixed Mushrooms:
- Beef shanks for rich, beefy flavor: For this recipe, I love to use beef shanks. They're brimming with collagen, flavor, and some fat (plus they have a bone, which adds even more flavor), and cook up to tender, succulent perfection when braised, easy to shred as well.
- Dried mushrooms for some earthiness: If you can find dried mixed mushrooms, opt for those, as the different varieties of mushrooms will add good texture and flavor; otherwise, if you can find just dried porcini mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms, those are terrific as well.
- How to rehydrate dried mushrooms: Just place the dried mushrooms into a large bowl, add boiling water to cover, then let them sit for about 15-20 minutes; then, strain the liquid, reserving it, and slice the mushrooms, prepping them for the recipe.
- Red wine for added zip: The flavor of red wine in this recipe is absolutely delicious, and provides just a little bit of flavorful zip, which I really love with beef. But you can leave it out if you prefer, substituting more beef stock, and proceed with the rest of the ingredients and steps.
- Delicious accompaniments: My personal favorite accompaniment with this braised beef recipe is hot, fluffy mashed potatoes, but egg noodles work really well too.