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Slow Cooker Cut

Beef Osso Buco With Lemon-Parsley Gremolata

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Beef Osso Buco With Lemon-Parsley Gremolata

From Serious Eats: Beef Shank Osso Buco is an inexpensive, impressive meal that is made for the slow cooker. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Who can say no to tender, braised meat in a rich sauce flavored with wine and vegetables, not to mention that ultra-flavorful and tender marrow inside a shank? The slow cooker makes the whole thing pretty darned easy, while beef shanks make it a heck of a lot cheaper than veal.

Why this recipe works:

  • Bone-in beef shanks are dredged in flour and browned, plus vegetables are sautéed, before they're transferred to the slow cooker. This adds flavor to the slow braise.

  • Removing the sauce and thickening it with a touch of flour after cooking gives it a rich, gravy-like consistency.

  • A bright, simple parsley, lemon zest and garlic gremolata brightens and lightens the otherwise rich dish.

YIELD: Serves 4

  • ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

  • TOTAL TIME: 6 1/2 hours

Ingredients

For the Shanks:

  • 4 cross-cut, bone-in beef shanks (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 stalk celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 4 sprigs thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Pinch ground cloves

For the Gremolata:

  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 lemons

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

Directions

For the Shanks: 

  1. Pat shanks dry using a paper towel. Place 1 cup flour on a plate. Season beef with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add meat and cook without moving until well browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a slow cooker.

  2. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin have softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic. Stir and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.

  3. Transfer the contents to a slow cooker and add stock, vinegar, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and ground clove. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low until meat is tender, about 6 hours.

  4. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Skim fat from the sauce and transfer 1/2 cup of gravy to a medium saucepan. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the reserved gravy until no lumps remain. Add the rest of the sauce to the saucepan. Whisking frequently, bring the sauce to a rolling boil over high heat and cook until the sauce achieves a gravy-like consistency, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Gremolata: 

  1. Meanwhile, combine parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl

  2. Arrange shanks on a platter and spoon sauce on top. Garnish with gremolata and serve.

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Spicy, Garlicky Meatloaf

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Spicy, Garlicky Meatloaf

*from NY Times Cooking, by Melissa Clark

We all have that memory of eating meatloaf growing up. Whether that memory is good or not is another question, and likely a story for another time. Even so, check out this recipe and you'll notice it is not your traditional meatloaf. Some Double Z ground beef will punch up this meatloaf even more. Give it a try and tell us what you think!

"This meatloaf is as pungent and zesty as a meatball, but baked in that iconic, sliceable loaf form. A combination of chilies and sage add a spicy, earthy note, and a glaze of tomato paste and olive oil elevates a traditional dish away from its ketchup roots. The pine nuts are a visual cue: this is something a little different. And it tastes great the day after."

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Easy Roast Beef

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Easy Roast Beef

* from Spark Recipes

Lean and versatile, this recipe is the little black dress of your healthy recipe arsenal. Cook this roast on a Sunday and enjoy it throughout the week. We used no salt, just pepper for a truly flavorful roast.

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Slow-Cooked Short Ribs

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Slow-Cooked Short Ribs

*from Gordon Ramsay

How can you go wrong with beef, pancetta, and red wine? Gordon Ramsay takes these short ribs and turns them into a top notch meal with only a handful of steps. It seems too easy, but the proof is in the pudding...or short ribs, in this instance. Watch the short video in this post and try it yourself!

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Paleo Korean-style Short Ribs

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Paleo Korean-style Short Ribs

*from Nom Nom Paleo

"Inspired by a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve made this Korean-style dish several times—and every time, it’s been easy-peasy and tasty. I simplified and Paleoized the recipe by subbing out the soy sauce with coconut aminos, the rice wine vinegar with coconut vinegar, and leaving out the tapioca. What’s cool about this recipe is that you don’t need to sear off any of the meat or carmelize any aromatics –- it’s pretty much a dump-it-in-and-forget-about-it kind of dish. That being said, when I do have the time I will char the short ribs under the broiler before throwing them in the slow cooker."

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Paleo Pot Roast

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Paleo Pot Roast

*from Stupid Easy Paleo

Here is an awesome paleo spin on a classic pot roast recipe. The exciting part of pot roast is the versatility of the meal - you can change the vegetables around to what you have in the cupboard or experiment with different spices (use small amounts to start!) in order to not get tired of the roast. 

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

*from The Daring Gourmet

"...let me stress one thing I learned from my mom about cooking roasts:  Probably THE single most important factor to the flavor of the finished roast is to fry it until it’s very browned on all sides before cooking it.  That is the KEY to a deliciously flavorful roast so whatever you do, don’t skip that step!  And don’t be afraid to get it good and browned.  Not only will it greatly enhance the flavor of the roast itself, but all those burnt bits on the bottom of the pan is what will give the gravy that irresistibly wonderful flavor.

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Southwestern Pulled Brisket Tacos

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Southwestern Pulled Brisket Tacos

*from Smitten Kitchen
At 11 p.m. on December 30th, I unwrapped a piece of brisket nearly the size of my baby, browned it in a pan, laid it in the stoneware liner, threw in some onions, a pile of spices, cups of tomatoes and water on top, turned it to low, and at 9 o’clock the next morning woke up and nearly fainted from the deliciousness all around me. Dinner. Was. Made. I had done nothing. And it was the most perfectly cooked piece of brisket I had ever seen. Why did I wait so long? I am consumed with regret.

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