Shank Primal

Primal Cut

A portion of the leg, which is used extensively for movement. As a result, it is typically cut into cross sections called Shank Cross-Cuts which are braised to make flavorful, fork-tender dishes such as Osso Buco.

Shank primal cut diagram (Beef)

More about Shank Primal

Sub-Primal Cuts

Hind Shank, Fore Shank, Ground Beef.


Located in the lower abdomen or chest area of the cow, the shank is a muscle that is constantly used making the meat very tough and lean.

Ideal size

3-5 lbs. roasts, scraps for Ground Beef, cut into 1” cubes for stewing.

Fat Content

The shank is considered to be an extra lean cut. Both sub primal cuts contain 7% fat.

Best Cooking Methods

The meat contains very little fat and therefore is very tough. It must be cooked for long periods of time either at low temperatures in appliances like crockpots or at higher temperatures in the oven. This will help to break down the structure of the beef.

Preparation Methods

In order to prepare a shank, you will want to help break own the meat using a meat tenderizer seasoning or mallet. A marinade will also help to not only tenderize the meat but also bring extra flavors to this tough cut of beef.

We should choose this type

This type of cut is perfect for cooking whole as a pot roast or chopping up into small cubes for dishes like beef stew. Occasionally the leftovers will be used as lean ground beef due to its low-fat content.

Type of Grill/Smoker when BBQing

Conventional oven or crockpot for roasts and stews and any direct heat grill for ground beef.

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