The front leg of beef, veal, lamb or pork. Though very flavorful, it's full of connective tissue and is some of the toughest meat on the animal. It therefore requires a long, slow cooking method such as braising. Beef shank is used for ground beef; a popular veal shank preparation is osso buco.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.