Rich and tender, fall-off-the-bone beef with flavorful veggies and scrumptious gravy. Do I have your attention yet?
My house smells so delicious right now! Seriously…I can smell the wine, garlic, and herbs and it’s so wonderful. I can hardly wait to dip into the slow cooker for my first bite.
This is my absolute favorite slow cooker recipe. I can’t even seem to find a word for just how good this stuff is! Imagine slow cooked beef that melts in your mouth. Then, spike it with garlic, herbs, tomato, wine, and broth. Can you smell it? Trust me, it smells and tastes 10 times better in person.
You know what else is wonderful about this recipe? It’s budget-friendly. It’s easy enough on the wallet you could have this weekly. No, seriously, traditional Osso Buco is made with veal. The right cut of veal can be hard to find, and it’s generally pretty expensive…too expensive for this girl! However, beef shank, which I can’t tell the difference when all said and done, is reasonably priced, in comparison. Do look for or ask for ones that have more meat than bone as you really want this dish to be mostly meat. The parts of the shank with less meat are great soup bones though. Also, stay away from “boneless” beef shank for this recipe. Bone-in meat has more flavor than boneless, generally speaking.
I love to top this beef-shank Osso Buco with a fresh gremolata – a mixture of chopped fresh parsley, lemon zest, and finely minced garlic. You are not going to believe how much a simple gremolata elevates a meat dish like this! It really is out-of-this-world good.
I do think it’s time to venture out and try Gremolata on some other things too. Stay tuned for that adventure! I wonder what other wonderful goodies would be elevated by a little gremolata…Hmmm, going to have to think about that one. I may have just stumbled on to something magical. 😉
I start this recipe on the stove top because I want to give the meat a good sear. Searing imparts flavor with that beautiful brown crust that you just can’t get in a slow cooker alone. Once I transfer the shanks over to the slow cooker, I sauté the veggies for a while and add in the ingredients for the richly flavored sauce that becomes the luscious gravy in the end. Seriously, I could eat the gravy on its own…it’s that good!
Now, about the flour in this recipe. I do, often, skip the step of dredging the shanks to save on carbs and calories. It’s just my preference, and I’m a believer in every little bit helps. The only difference I notice is the thickness of the gravy in the end. Do as you wish and just be aware your gravy may not be as thick without the flour. The nutrition facts below take into account ¾ cup flour used in this recipe. Removing the flour from the recipe altogether reduces calories per serving to about 970 and carbs to about 12 grams.
I make the gremolata the quick and easy way. I whiz up the garlic and parsley in my mini Cuisinart Prep Plus and then add in the lemon zest and give it a quick stir.
If you make this dish, I want to see! Tag your pic with #basilandoregano on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment and rating below. Thanks!
- 4 bone-in beef cross cut shanks (about 3 ½ lbs)
- ½ to 1 cup flour (optional)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ½ cup finely chopped parsley
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add ½ cup flour to a large Ziplock bag.
- Pat shanks with paper towels to remove excess liquid, season with salt and pepper. Gently toss each shank in the flour to coat, adding more flour to bag as needed. Shake excess flour from shanks before adding to hot pan.
- Brown shanks for 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer browned shanks to slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add remaining oil if needed and then add in the onion, carrots, and celery. Add a pinch of salt and stir frequently until onion is soft.
- Add in the minced garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and wine.
- Transfer contents to the slow cooker, add broth, herbs and cloves, and a little salt and pepper. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Meat should be fork tender.
- Remove rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.
- If desired, use 1-2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce by whisking flour into about ½ cup of hot liquid from the slow cooker. Return mixture to the cooker and stir gently. Continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Serve on its own topped with gremolata, or over polenta, potatoes or rice.
- Gremolata: Add the three ingredients together and stir gently, store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats