6 Best Substitutes For Beef Shanks In Any Recipes

beef shank substitute

A beef shank is an often-overlooked cut of meat.

It is the lower portion of a cow’s leg, and it can be tough to chew through.

However, beef shanks are typically very affordable and provide about three times the amount of meat that you would get with a typical steak.

This post will share some substitutes for beef shank in recipes so that anyone can enjoy this under-appreciated cut of meat! 

What is a beef shank?

Beef Shank Bone-In Grass Fed Step 4

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Beef shank is the meat from the lower leg of beef cattle.

This part of an animal’s body can be cooked in many different ways, but it is most often used to make soup or stew because its rich and hearty flavor makes for a filling meal.

Beef shank contains several nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, and potassium which are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Can you substitute beef shank in the cooking recipe?

Many people think that you can’t substitute meat in a recipe, but this is not always the case.

For example, a beef shank can be used in place of ground beef when cooking recipes such as chili or tacos.

This substitution will save you money and calories while still yielding delicious results! 

Beef shank is a tough cut of meat so it should be cooked for at least 3 hours on low heat to break down its connective tissue and make it tender enough to eat.

One pound of lean ground beef will yield about 1/2 lb.

once cooked whereas one pound of beef shank could yield up to 2 lbs.

What can you substitute for beef shank?

We all have a favorite dish that we don’t want to give up, but in some cases, it may be necessary.

Beef shank is a common ingredient in many recipes and can be difficult to find substitutes for.

However, with a little creativity and research, you’ll find there are lots of options when it comes to beef shank alternatives.

1. Chicken thighs

Fresh Brand – Chicken Thighs, 100% Natural, Bone-In Skin-On, 2 lb

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A common substitution for beef shank is chicken thighs.

The meat has a similar texture and flavor with just enough difference that it can substitute in dishes you might have otherwise prepared using ground beef or pork, making them an excellent option when cooking at home but also available on most menus around town!

2. Pork shoulder

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Pork shoulders are a great substitute for beef shanks.

Not only do they have more meat than their smaller counterparts, but pork shoulder is also less costly – which means you get even greater quality at an affordable price!

3. Lamb shanks

Lamb Shank New Zealand Grass Fed Non-GMO

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Lamb shanks are a great substitute for beef shanks.

They’re more affordable and tasty and they retain most of the same qualities including an intense flavor that will please your taste buds just like in any dish made with their big brother!

4. Venison shank

Venison Osso Bucco Hind Shank - 2 x 3-inch: 2 pieces, 14 oz ea

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Venison shanks are a great substitute for beef shanks.

They have the same flavor and tenderness, so if you’re looking to cut down on your meat consumption or just want something different than what’s usually served at restaurants then venison will do nicely!

5. Duck legs 

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Duck legs are a great alternative to the beef shank.

They contain collagen and provide juicy, tender meat that can be tough when cooked on its own so it’s best in dishes with sauces or gravy-based ingredients.

6. Bison shank

Bison Center Cut Shank USDA Inspected (4 Osso Buco Per bag) (1 bags of...

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The bison shank can be used as a replacement for the beef shank.

The meat is dark red and has the same texture, though it’s leaner than its counterpart so you’ll have to adjust the cooking time accordingly!


A beef shank is a cut of meat that you might not be familiar with.

It can be tough and sinewy if cooked incorrectly, but this post has shared some great beef shank substitutes so that anyone can enjoy this under-appreciated cut of meat! 

Hopefully, this article is helpful for those who want to try cooking beef shanks.

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