Beef Shank Adobo

The hardest part in this simple beef adobo is the wait.
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4 servings
Wait Time
4 Hrs
Active Time
30 Mins

Adobo can be, and has been, made with many different cuts of meat and in many different styles. But today, we wanted to explore cooking this but not with the usual adobo-cut meats. Our solution: beef shank adobo.

What is Adobo?
Adobo refers to the Filipino dish and cooking technique where ingredients are braised in vinegar with salt (usually soy sauce), garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Almost anything can be adobo: meat, fish, seafood, vegetables. You’ll find endless variations on adobo across the Philippines, each with their own unique flavors, ingredients, spices, and textures.

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.

  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 4 pcs beef shank
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns, whole
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves

In a large pot, add the oil over medium-high heat.


Add the beef shanks in one layer and brown on all sides, about 5 mins per side.


Add the vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and enough water to cover the shanks.


Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.


Let adobo cook on low heat for about 3 hrs or until tender.


When tender, remove the meat and place it on a serving dish. Cover with foil to keep warm.


Turn the heat back on high and reduce the sauce until thick.


Once thickened, spoon the sauce over the shanks. Serve with steamed rice.


You can use a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time by half.