Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crock Pot Beef Shanks

I’ve seen several recent crock pot and braised beef recipes that interested me and I had three packages of shanks in the freezer that needed to be used. Bev and I discussed what dish to make and couldn’t decide, so I decided to get the meat going then decide later what to make it into – maybe even two dishes. The first thing I did was get the crock pot going on high with just a little water in it.

I started from an Emeril recipe utilizing 4 shanks and I had 6, but went with his proportions anyway. After S&P, I browned the meat in olive oil – I considered dusting with flour but wasn’t sure if I’d make a thickened dish. I removed them from the pan and added:

2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots

When they started to caramelize I added

2 tbsp minced garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh thyme

I cooked this a couple of minutes until fragrant and deglazed the pan with 1 cup red wine. Then, I poured everything from the pan into the crock pot, laid the meat in – it took two layers, added the lid, and went off to repair my wheel barrow (don’t buy one with a plastic tray if you plan to use it hard, as the bolts holding it to the handles may pull through).

I let it cook on high for two hours, then flipped the ones not submerged in the broth and turned the heat to low. After three more hours, the meat had fallen off the bones, so I removed it and separated the meat from the fat and bones (puppy treats) and pulled the meat into smaller pieces. I removed the broth and veggies to a bowl and let them set so I could skim the fat, then returned half to the pot.  I whisked in a couple of tbsp of flour to get the thickness I wanted and returned half the meat to the pot – I had already turned it up to high.  Obviously, I saved half of the meat and broth for another dish.

Then, I added three carrots in 1” pieces, 4 oz. of quartered mushrooms, adjusted the S&P and cooked until the carrots were done. I wanted to serve it over egg noodles, but since Bev’s not a big fan, I used angel hair pasta – her favorite. I thought it was very good, Bev loved it, and it was the perfect meal to have ready when she came in from power shopping on such a cold, blustery day - I could have used a little more gravy stuff on mine.

Tune in later for the rest of the story and thanks for stopping by.



  1. What a wonderful and delicious looking dish. All you need is a decoration of fresh sage or parsley and this could have been a photo from an upscale restaurant.

  2. My mouth started watering when I read how it had fallen off the bone. You know it's gonna be good when that happens!! I have to utilize my crock pot more often, I love the ease of it!

  3. I love slow cooked beef that's falling-off-the-bone tender. Nice looking dish!!

  4. I love this kind of slow simmered meal, and one of the best parts is the wonderful aroma as it simmers in the crock pot.

  5. It looks delicious. I'd have wanted extra carrots with my beef. My dearly beloved is with Bev in not favoring egg noodles.

  6. Ummmm---I can almost smell that dinner. Anything in the crockpot is so GOOD. I remember when i worked fulltime ---I'd put our dinner in the crockpot and let it cook on low all day.. Coming home after a hard day's work was wonderful ---just smelling the house when I walked in... Dinner was ready!!!!! Yeah.

  7. Larry, Now that's true comfort food! It would work with mashed potatoes or rice too... Take Care,
    Big Daddy Dave

  8. Wonderful Larry! I love a slow braised meal, though I'm still trying to warm up to the crockpot. Still seems different to me from the oven.

    And btw, the more heavy duty metal wheelbarrows aren't much better unless you've got a barn to store it in. I'm on #2 in not many years due to wear & exposure issues. Well and the first one my husband stood by and watched the crane pick up from the debris pile he'd just dumped to the street after our Katrina clean up. $%^# pile had to be 7 feet tall (and we were still working on it) what a mess that was! Guess the guy in the debris pickin' up truck didn't see the wheelbarrow on the side and scooped it right up too! And what is up with the tires on these darn thing? They never hold air!

    Hope you have a great weekend!! Bev needs to come and get me motivated to "power shop!" Christmas is 2 weeks away and I've only bought a couple gifts so far.

  9. I've recently come to adore crock pot beef over pasta. It makes such a hearty sauce!

  10. You have a crock pot too!? ha ha

    I like this, it's kind of like osso bucco except not using veal.


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