Thor's Meat Hammer Smoked Beef Shank "Asgardian Delight"

Recipe by adiforgotCourse: MainCuisine: Beef, BBQDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Inspired by the legendary Thor’s Hammer, this hearty and smoky beef shank dish is perfect for those who love robust flavors and simple cooking methods. It's an ideal choice for a weekend gathering or a cozy family dinner.


  • 1 large beef shank (about 4-5 lbs), bone-in

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • A pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)

  • For the Braising Liquid
  • 6 cups beef stock

  • 1 cup red wine (a simple, robust variety)

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 12 pearl onions, peeled

  • Vegetables
  • 4 pounds baby potatoes (choose a mix for variety)

  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

  • For the Gravy
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons cold water

  • Reserved braising liquid


  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  • Mix smoked paprika, granulated garlic, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, and chili flakes together. Rub this mixture all over the beef shank.
  • Smoke for 4-5 hours until it develops a rich, dark crust.
  • Braise the Shank
  • Transfer the shank to a large roasting pan.
  • Add the beef stock, red wine, bay leaf, and pearl onions.
  • Cover and cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the Vegetables
  • Add the baby potatoes and carrots to the pan.
  • Cook for another 1 1/2 hours until the vegetables are tender.
  • Make the Gravy
  • Mix cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry.
  • Remove the shank and vegetables from the pan.
  • Simmer the braising liquid and whisk in the cornstarch slurry until thickened.
  • Serve
  • Arrange the shank and vegetables on a large serving platter.
  • Pour the thickened gravy over the top.


    Science Behind Creating Delicious Thors Meat Hammer

    1. Meat Composition and Initial Preparation:

    • Muscle Fibers and Connective Tissue: Beef shank is a cut of meat from the leg of the cow, characterized by dense muscle fibers and significant connective tissue (collagen). This composition makes it initially tough.
    • Marination and Seasoning: The application of salt and spices aids in flavor development. Salt, in particular, begins to break down muscle proteins (through a process known as denaturation), making them more tender.

    2. Smoking Process:

    • Low and Slow Cooking: Smoking at 225°F cooks the meat slowly, allowing heat to penetrate evenly. This gentle cooking process prevents the proteins from seizing up and becoming tough.
    • Smoke Penetration: The smoke from the wood chips imparts flavor compounds (like phenols and carbonyls) to the meat’s surface, adding a unique smoky flavor.
    • Maillard Reaction: This reaction occurs between amino acids and reducing sugars in the meat at high temperatures, producing complex flavor compounds and a browned crust.

    3. Braising:

    • Collagen to Gelatin Transformation: Prolonged cooking at low temperatures turns tough collagen in the connective tissue into gelatin, which is tender and adds a rich, silky texture to the meat.
    • Flavor Infusion from Liquid: The braising liquid (beef stock and wine) not only adds flavor but also keeps the meat moist and helps in heat distribution.

    4. Vegetable Cooking:

    • Starch Gelatinization: As the potatoes and carrots cook, the starch inside them absorbs water and swells, eventually gelatinizing and becoming tender.
    • Flavor Absorption: Vegetables absorb flavors from the braising liquid, enhancing their taste.

    5. Gravy Formation:

    • Roux with Cornstarch and Water: Cornstarch mixed with water (slurry) is added to the liquid. When heated, the starch molecules swell, burst, and release their contents, thickening the liquid into gravy.
    • Simmering: Gentle simmering allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and cohesive gravy.

    6. Resting and Serving:

    • Resting the Meat: Allowing the meat to rest before serving gives time for the redistribution of juices within the meat fibers, ensuring it is moist and tender when cut.
    • Serving Temperature: Serving the dish warm ensures that the gelatin and fats are in their most palatable form, enhancing the mouthfeel and flavor.

    In summary, the creation of this delicious shank involves a series of chemical and physical transformations. From the tenderizing effect of salt in the initial seasoning, the flavor infusion and collagen breakdown during smoking and braising, to the starch gelatinization in the vegetables and the thickening of the gravy, each step contributes to the final taste and texture of the dish.

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