The beef shank is the shank (or leg) portion of a steer or heifer. In Britain the corresponding cuts of beef are the shin (the foreshank), and the leg (the hindshank).
Due to the constant use of this muscle by the animal it tends to be tough, dry, and sinewy, so is best when cooked for a long time in moist heat. It is an ideal cut to use for beef bourguignon. As it is very lean, it is widely used to prepare very low-fat ground beef. Due to its lack of sales, it is not often seen in shops. Although, if found in retail, it is very cheap and a low-cost ingredient for beef stock. Beef shank is a common ingredient in soups.
In Australia it is commonly sold from butchers as gravy beef for bone-less shanks or as osso buco with bone-in.