The crock pot has resurfaced in the weekly dinner routine around here. During the winter months, I leave for work and get home from work in the dark. Week days can be a challenge. I would have a meal plan, a new recipe to try almost every night.. I’d find myself standing in front of a fridge full of ingredients without the ambition to cook. These days I try to keep it simple. At least twice I week I pick something new but the rest of the time the crock pot, one dish meals, and creations from the pantry, fridge and freezer are where it’s at! I can be creative and usually get a meal put together in under 30 minutes. Most recently, Matt has taken one night a week to pick a meal and cook it without input from me. I love seeing what he chooses to make and I’m freed up to clean, blog, or catch up on other items.
Matt and I work long days, leaving around 6:30 AM, and there is nothing better then coming home to the smell of a sauce that has been simmering all day. When looking for crock pot recipes, I go for those that can go for 8+ hours on low without intermediate steps. After all, one of the joys of the crock pot is that is cooks while you are AWAY. When I make recipes like this on weekdays. I prep everything the night before up to the last step. I place the inner portion of the crock pot in the fridge and it is ready to go in the morning. The beef shanks are rich. The sauce is luxurious, it coats the mouth and would be fantastic over risotto or served with crusty bread.. I believe in all things in moderation, so to balance out the richness of the beef shanks, I served simple steamed greens on the side with nothing but olive oil and salt.
Braised Beef Shanks in the Slow Cooker
- canola oil
- 3 lbs beef shanks
- 1/4 cup flour, mixed with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
- 1 TBSP olive oil or butter
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 cup dry white/red wine. I used red because I had it around but use whatever you have.
- 1 14 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 sprigs of parsley
Heat canola oil over medium high heat. Pat both sides of the shanks in flour, salt and pepper and add to skillet. Brown on both sides. Place shanks in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Heat butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and cook 6-7 minutes. Add garlic for 1-2 minutes longer. Deglaze plan with 1 cup dry wine scrapping up bits from the bottom. Add stock, tomatoes, and thyme.
Place parsley sprigs and bay leaves on top of shanks . Pour tomato mixture over top.
Cook on low heat for 8 hours. Taste before serving and add salt as needed. I had to add a full tablespoon but it will depend on the tomatoes used.