Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine : Slow Cooker-Style

Having bought a quarter of a cow from a local ranch, I've had to cook parts of a cow that I've never cooked before.  This has really been a lot of fun and it's brought some really interesting recipes to my table.  This week, I defrosted beef shanks and looked to the web to provide me a recipe for this new (to me) cut of beef. 

This recipe certainly didn't disappoint.  It was delicious.  And very easy.   My husband was out of town, so I was temporarily a working, single mom.  In times like this, I really rely on my slow cooker for meals.  I changed the recipe a bit to what I had on hand in my kitchen and the small amount of time I had before work in the morning and came home to wonderfully tender beef waiting for me in the crock pot.

Slow Cooker Peppered Beef Shank in Red Wine
serves 4 to 6 as a main course

Adapted From The Kitchn

2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef crosscut shank, fat trimmed away
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or peanut oil
10 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large stalk celery, roughly chopped (I didn't have celery, so I used 2 carrots)
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
750 ml bottle inexpensive red wine
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used a blackberry ginger balsamic I bought at a specialty store)

Heat a wide, deep skillet over medium high heat. Pat the beef shanks dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan, and when its hot, add the beef shank. Sear the meat for at least 7 minutes on each side, creating a dark brown crust. When the meat has been thoroughly browned, remove from the pan and place in a slow cooker.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, onion, and celery. Cook for about 15 minutes (I only had 5 minutes), stirring occasionally, letting the onion acquire some browning and color. Add the bay leaf and the rosemary sprig, and pour in the red wine and broth. Add 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (I only simmered for 5 minutes). The liquid should reduce by about 1/3.

Pour the sauce and vegetables over the meat in the slow cooker. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on LOW. You will know the meat is done when it is extremely tender and has fallen away from the bone and into small pieces.

If you do not wish to serve it right away, refrigerate. This also makes it easier to remove the excess fat. Spoon out any chilled shards of fat after the shanks have been refrigerated for several hours. To serve, heat gently in its sauce in a Dutch oven or saucepan on the stovetop. Taste and if necessary add additional salt.

Serve over polenta or pasta. (I served with a green salad) Keepin' it simple cause that's how I roll...

Have you tried preparing new or unfamiliar cuts of meat?

Shared at: Frugal Tuesday, Tip Me Tuesdays, Nature's Nurture, Works For Me Wednesdays


  1. This looks wonderful! I love the way the vegetable and beef CSAs have challenged me to try new things. I never would have tried beef shank before either.

    1. It turned out sooo tender. I guess the trick to it is slow cooking. :)

  2. Oh yum! I love slow cooker recipes! This one looks delicious!

    1. I don't know what I'd do without my slow cooker! I use it year-round. :)

  3. That looks delicious. I'll have to try it out!

  4. yummy! any advice on shrinking it down to a 2-3 serving? I know my crock pot is on the smaller side. I know you can half the ingredients but is there any special advice on spices?

    1. A little salt pepper and red wine is always great for beef. Add some onion and garlic and you have magic. :) As far as shrinking it down, it all depends on the size of the meat. You can always half the recipe and it will turn out great.


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