Monday, March 18, 2013

Crockpot Beef Shanks

Crockpot Beef

Two kitchen appliances made lasting impressions on my wee self.

The first was the toaster.

Specifically: an unending parade of ten-dollar bread-browners that burst into flames after a few months of use.  

There may have been some ‘cajiggling’ with a butterknife going on – but, whatcha gonna do?

After the spring lever stopped ejecting pastries and the degree of doneness became ‘best guess before incineration’, we adjusted our expectations and made do until it became a fire hazard.

(Smoke and flames! No ten-year-old forgets that.)

I remember our first crockpot, for similar reasons. 

Back in the ‘70’s, slow cookers were one-piece and came with two warnings: Do not immerse in water.  Do not touch the sides.

Eventually, they followed the path of the toasters - either boiling away at full speed and scorching the contents, or taking two full days to finish a stew.   

At least it was easy to clean (dishwasher’s confession).

Don’t get me wrong; I use the most modern incarnations of each regularly.

 Tender Vegetables from the Crockpot
“Crocking’ creates a rich, moist, comfort meal that tastes like I spent hours over the stove. 

And there is no substitute for properly toasted bread to eat with it.

Beef Marrow
Crockpot Beef Shanks

4 lbs. Beef Shanks (about 3)
1 ½ lbs. Carrots, peeled
2 lbs. White Potatoes, halved
1 Large Red Onion, diced
1 Head Garlic, minced
1 qt. Beef Stock (preferably homemade)
Cracked Black Pepper

Equipment: 8-qt. Crockpot

Set Crockpot to lowest setting.

Salt and pepper shanks on both sides. 

Layer onions, beef, and garlic.

Crockpot Recipe
Cut carrots to fit and crowd vegetables into every open space, until the crock is full.  

Add stock.

Cover crock and let cook until meat is fall-apart tender, 5 - 6 hours later.

Adjust for salt.
Crockpot Beef Shanks with Potatoes and Carrots