The following recipe introduction and the notes found in brackets are written by our recipe moderator: Alex Miller will present at our annual Wise Traditions conference on “The Loss of Local Farms and What You Can Do About It.” Listen to Aaron Zober of The Appropriate Omnivore interview Alex for his podcast. Alex provided Aaron with this recipe. We recommend pasture-raised beef shanks and organic ingredients!
- 3 lbs beef shanks
- 2 tbsp bacon drippings (or olive oil) [Any traditional fat such as butter, lard, tallow, suet will do!]
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped) thyme
- 1 tbsp oregano, dried
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 15 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olives, green or ripe, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup red or white wine
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce [Check out this organic version we recommend!]
- 1 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional thickener) [We would recommend arrowroot in it’s place. It’s recommended to use twice as much arrowroot as cornstarch to get similar results. Arrowroot flour is a more nutritious substitute and gluten-free for those who avoid it.]
- Let shanks sit at room temperature for 30 min, pat dry.
- Heat oil to medium high and sear shanks in bacon drippings or olive oil, 3 minutes on each side or until crusting forms. Don’t crowd in pan or they won’t brown properly. Do one at a time if they are large. Set aside in bowl to capture any beef juice.
- Saute the Holy Trinity (onions, carrots, celery), 4 cloves of chopped garlic, and green pepper until onions are soft, scraping pan to loosen any bits of beef.
- Stir in thyme, oregano, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, olives, stock, wine, Worcestershire Sauce, ground pepper, and any juice from browned shanks.
- Submerge beef shanks in vegetables and broth and cook in slow cooker 8 hours, or in dutch oven at 350*F for 4 hours.
- Check meat – it should be off the bone and fall-apart tender. If not, cook a little longer.
- Thicken broth if desired, by mixing arrowroot with water, stirring into hot broth, and allowing to cool slightly.
- Prepare traditional Italian topping (“gremolata”) by mincing remaining garlic cloves, mixing with lemon zest and parsley, and sprinkling mixture on top as served.