This autoimmune protocol and paleo compliant beef shank slow cooker recipe is in the slow cooker in just 15 minutes of prep time. Then, 8 hours later, enjoy fall-off-the-bone tenderness and fresh flavor from the orange and thyme! Not only that, but osso buccos are an amazing source of healthy fats, bone marrow, and gelatin. (Dairy free, AIP, paleo, GAPs, refined sugar free, nut free, soy free, gluten-free, grain free).
Osso buccos are just incredible in either stew or cooked long and slow (like a roast) in the slow cooker. GAPs eaters, if you’re tired of bone broth, beef shanks can also be a great alternative–shanks still have the health benefits and great bone marrow that regular bones have, but where beef bones can sometimes go a little south with their very strong bone flavor, osso bucos have an incredible rich, beef flavor that is improved by the bone marrow.
This beef shank slow cooker recipe isn’t entirely stage 1 GAPs compliant, but it works great for some of the later stages. These ossos make an incredible (and healthy!) dinner.
One thing you should note: always buy grass fed and chemical free beef shanks. Bone marrow can store pesticides or chemicals that the cow ate during its lifetime, which you definitely don’t want on your dinner plate! Also be aware that “grass fed” doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide free. There actually is no official regulated USDA definition of the term “grass fed,” so those words don’t necessarily mean that cow just ate grass or that that grass was necessarily pesticide-free. The organic certification is the only way you can be completely sure you aren’t getting pesticides mixed up in your lovely shank bones (which is why we work so hard to be certified organic–it’s our guarantee to our partners). If your beef supplier is not certified organic, make sure you ask questions! Know where your beef is coming from. Here are a few good ones:
“How do you manage weeds on your property?”
“Do your cows ever eat anything but grass or hay?”
“If your practicing with organic principles, why aren’t you certified?” (and don’t be satisfied with the response, “it’s too expensive.” The actual certification is not that expensive if you’re already meeting organic standards, it’s the organic practices that are expensive. We should know).
“What do you do when one of your cows gets sick? Do you feed antibiotics?”
For more on organic, grass fed, and the misinformation behind it all, click here.
To see beef shanks on our online store, click here.
And with that little aside, make this beef shank slow cooker recipe and enjoy the awesome nutrition and flavor that comes with!
Beef Shank Slow Cooker Recipe
- 4-6 Alderspring osso buco beef shanks
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 head about 8 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup water plus more as needed
- 1 orange
- About 10 sprigs fresh thyme the leaves will fall off during cooking
- Heat a large pan to medium high heat and add the oil. Fry the beef shanks in the oil until lightly browned on both sides. You may have to do the shanks in batches if they won’t all fit in the pan.
- Remove the osso bucos from the pan and place in your slow cooker or a dutch oven (or any oven safe pan that can be covered) if you’re going to cook in the oven.
- Scrape the chopped garlic into the frying pan still on the stove and lightly brown the garlic. Add the pepper, salt, wine, molasses, honey, and water. Let the mix come to a slow boil as you cut your orange into about 8 slices (don’t peel the orange).
- Put the oranges in the slow cooker on top and next to the beef shanks. Place the thyme sprigs on top. Pour the sauce mix from the saucepan into the slow cooker, then shake the slow cooker around to make sure the sauce is well mixed with the beef shanks. The sauce should not entirely cover the beef shanks.
- Cover the slow cooker/dutch oven and cook on low or around 200 degrees F for the oven for about 6-8 hours, when the meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender. If the sauce seems to be cooking away too much during cooking and the meat is burning on the bottom, add a little more water. About halfway through cooking, flip the osso bucos over to allow sauce to penetrate all sides.
- Serve over quinoa, or, if you can’t have quinoa, oven roasted veggies. Pictured here is a mix of asparagus, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and onions.
Red Wine: Can be substituted with balsamic vinegar.
Honey: Helps counter the acidity of the orange and wine while adding just a bit of caramelization. You can, however, substitute with maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar.
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