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. However, 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.
In Asia, braised beef shank is very popular.
In animation, it is usually the type of beef used to represent any and all types of steak, especially in raw form.
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