Makes 6 servings / Hands-On Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 11 hours
I’m always looking for shortcuts to deliciousness, so even though my last slow cooker experiment was an abject failure, I was determined to undertake a new experiment this morning. I’d defrosted a couple of 2-inch center cut grass fed beef shanks, and was looking forward to chucking everything into the slow cooker so I’d have a tasty cabbage and beef shank stew ready to devour when I woke up in the evening. (Well, I was hoping it’d be tasty…)
Here’s what I assembled:
- ½ pound organic baby carrots
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored, and cut into 8 wedges
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 Turkish bay leaves
- 2 center-cut grass fed beef shanks (about 2” thick)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 15 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup organic chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
And here’s what I did with the stuff:
I dumped the baby carrots and chopped onions into the bottom of my slow cooker…
…and layered the cabbage wedges on top.
I threw in the smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves, and seasoned the beef shanks with salt and pepper to taste (by the way, feel free to be pretty heavy-handed with the S&P).
Then, I plopped ‘em on top of the cabbage.
The last step was to pour in the diced tomatoes and broth…
…before putting on the lid. I set the slow cooker on low and let it do its thing for 9 hours while I hit the sack. (Ah, the nocturnal life of a night shift worker…)
When I woke up, the house was suffused with a rich, beefy aroma. I couldn’t wait to peek at the stew. Lifting the lid off the slow cooker, I saw that the meat had pulled away from the bone and the marrow was perfectly cooked. Score!
I removed and plated the bones (and delicious marrow), shredded the meat, and tasted the stew for seasoning. The pot liquor was exploding with flavor, but it was a bit on the sweet side for my taste from all the onions and carrots, so I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut aminos and some more salt and pepper.
In the meantime, I oven-roasted some cremini mushrooms tossed with Tabil seasoning and macadamia nut oil (400 F on convection roast for 25 minutes) and quickly whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (this time, substituting extra virgin olive oil for the grass-fed butter).
Here’s my dinner plate:
All in all, not too shabby for a simple dump-and-cover slow cooker meal. Because the meat was grass fed, it wasn’t quite as meltingly tender as your typical crappy (but admittedly yummy) grain ‘n corn-fed stuff. Nonetheless, it was TONS better than the grass fed “beef stew” that crawled out of my slow cooker a few days ago. Plus, bone marrow is just so damn tasty –- mouth-filling, fatty, and full of umami goodness. I’m really happy I joined our meat CSA; left to my own devices, I never would’ve thought to buy beef shanks. Now, I’m gonna order them as extra items when I get next month’s box o’ animal parts!