Grapeseed or canola oil
4 (1-pound) beef shanks
6 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons salt
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bottle red wine, approximately 4 cups
8 cups beef stock
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 300°F. Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan with oil.
Place beef shanks on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
Add two beef shanks to hot pan with a ¼ inch of grapeseed oil. Let that side brown without moving. This may take 4-6 minutes. Turn and brown on all sides the same way. Remove browned shanks from Dutch oven and rest on cooling rack over sheet pan. Now, brown the remaining two beef shanks. Note: it’s important to take your time browning the shanks, as this step is where most of the flavor in the broth comes from. Remove from the pan.
Add more oil if necessary to coat the bottom of the pan again. Add onions and garlic and season with salt. Sweat until translucent, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaf and continue cooking the onions until they are caramelized, about 10-20 minutes.
Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon to release any brown bits. Bring the wine up to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Lower the heat and add beef stock.
Return meat to the Dutch oven making sure the lid is tightly on. Place Dutch oven with beef shanks in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Check every thirty minutes, rotating the beef in the pan to ensure even cooking.
Cool the meat in the liquid for 30 minutes and then remove the meat from the pan, using a mesh spider or skimmer, and place it on a baking sheet.
Once meat has cooled, gently pull meat off bones, reserving both.
Strain the braising liquid, saving 1 cup of the onions. Pour the strained braising liquid into a pan and reduce by half.
Carefully add reduced liquid to a blender with the cooked onions. Blend and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Pour blended sauce into pan and whisk until frothy. Turn the stove off and add the beef shank pieces. Right before serving, reheat the pieces of beef shank in the sauce.