Beef Shank Adobo Melts Marrow into the Sauce

April 7, 2018

Adobo can be, and has been, made with many different cuts of meat and in many different styles. But today, we wanted to explore not “what else can be made into adobo,” rather, “what can be done to make adobo taste even better.” We answered that question with bone marrow.

Patience pays off in this waiting game of a dish.

The beef shank is the cross-section of the leg with lots of tendons and meat, so if you attempt to cook it too quickly, it can turn rubbery. While the recipe is incredibly simple and easy to do, it is a test of patience, but we guarantee high returns on that wait. And if you really don’t have the time to spare, cut waiting time in half with a pressure cooker.

It may take a while to cook, but when adobo keeps for so long, doesn’t that make the wait a little more worth it?

Beef Shank Adobo

  • Serves: 4-6 people
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 3-4 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Special tools: optional: pressure cooker


  • 3 tbsp. of oil
  • 4 pieces beef shank
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. peppercorns, whole
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a large pot, add the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the beef shanks in one layer and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Add the vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves, and enough water to just cover the shanks.
  4. Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
  5. Let adobo cook on low heat for about 3 hours or until tender.
  6. When tender, remove the meat and place on a serving dish. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  7. Turn the heat back on high and reduce the sauce until thick.
  8. Spoon sauce over shanks before serving.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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