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"Port Sunset" Beef Shanks

Silly name.  How do people come up with names for recipes that aren't just a reiteration of the main ingredients?  This one has a sort of "tequila sunrise" effect when mixing it, so that inspired the name.  The ingredients were inspired by what was left over from previous recipes.

3 lbs. crosscut beef shanks
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups prunes, halved or coarsely chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not the pie filling)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup port
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 TB. butter
2 TB. olive oil
flour, salt, pepper
risotto, or flat egg noodles, or couscous, or brown rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You'll need a Dutch oven (okay for burner and oven) or a medium skillet and other casserole.   Melt butter with olive oil in the bottom of Dutch oven or skillet.  Rinse the beef shanks and pat dry.  Season flour with salt and pepper and dredge beef shanks in the flour, then brown them in the butter/olive oil for about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to casserole if using skillet.  Add the sweet potatoes and prunes on top of and around the beef.  In a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin and orange juice and port and spices, then pour the mixture over the beef shanks.  Bake in the oven for at least 3 hours, preferably longer (4 to 6 hours; if 6 hours you can reduce heat to 325), till meat is very tender and pulls apart with a fork.   Serve over your choice of starch.

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