Mr. Crack-up

About once a month a nearby grocery store has beef shanks for $1.79/lb.  So yesterday I picked up two.  I usually make things like this in a dutch oven on the stove or in the oven.  But, since it was warm (not too bad, but still, it IS summer) I decided to use the slow cooker.  Now, you’ll recall I haven’t used that thing since the Thanksgiving turkey breast failure of last year.  I’m hoping this will work out.  I cut up the onion, then remembered I had red potatoes and a turnip in the veggie bin along with carrots and celery.  I pulled the bags of carrots and potatoes out, setting them on the floor before picking them all up for cleaning and chopping.  I turned around and set some potatoes on the counter only to see bunny face going at the pile of veggie bags on the floor with a crazed and frenzied look.  OMG.  I had to fend the little critter off!  It was like he was suddenly possessed by the vegetable demon.

The Corgi having a good laugh.  He’s so expressive and gets so excited that he shakes all over!  He just cracks me up!
Wine-Braised Beef Shanks for One with Leftovers for Lunch

      1/2 cup Dry red wine
      1/2 cup Beef broth
      2 tablespoons Tomato paste
      1 teaspoon Italian herbs or Herbs de Provence
          (depending on desired taste)
      3 Garlic cloves, chopped
      1 teaspoon Salt
      1 Turnip cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      1-3 Red Potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      3-4 Carrots, sliced
      3-4 ribs Celery, sliced/chopped
      1 Onion, chopped
      2 Beef shank steaks (about 1.5 lbs)
      2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
      Note:  You can adjust the vegetables to your taste.  This is a very forgiving meal!  The vegetables act like a rack for the meat as it all cooks.

Combine wine, stock, tomato paste, herbs, garlic and salt together in slow cooker.  Add turnip, potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.  Place the beef shanks on top.  My slow cooker is oval, so the shanks fit perfectly, side by side.  At this point I ground a bit of gray Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper on top of the beef.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-5 hours.  Test veggies for doneness with a fork.  When they’re tender, it’s time to take meat and vegetables out.  Place them on a plate and cover with foil.  Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan.  Whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of cold water together in a bowl.  Whisk in a little of the cooking liquid and then whisk mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 3 minutes.  Spoon over meat and veggies and enjoy.

I must say this came out quite well!  Very tasty.

If you don’t mind extra dishes, you can brown the meat in a pan with a bit of olive oil before putting in the slow cooker.  I haven’t found it necessary.

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