I didn't say anything, not wanting to jinx your cook, but I've bought beef shank for stew. Specifically, for Robert Delf's Sichuan braised beef noodles, if anyone remembers that book. His Dan Dan noodles rock, using the leftover broth. I combine the two recipes.
Even with a many hour wet braise, there simply isn't enough articulation of the flesh, enough dissolvable non-protein interwoven with the flesh, to make the kind of braise one dreams of. Barbecuing adds wonderful elements that a wet braise misses, but I've never seen barbecue perform miracles that were impossible using braise techniques.
The Dan Dan noodles were in fact quite tasty, but using this cut is a missed opportunity, unless you're either poor and someone gave you the meat, or you broke down the side of beef and believe in using everything. Not to be harsh, just saying...
I have long dreamed of roasting a beef clod, the 20+ lb answer to the question "you think that's a shoulder? How small was that animal, whatever it was?" Yet I never do, tomorrow will be lamb shoulder.
Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."