Beef Shank Faux Osso Bucco

As I mentioned earlier, Tim and I have purchased another half-steer from White Flower Farm in Connecticut.  Last year, we were amazed by the quality of the meat, how fun it was to find different recipes for the various cuts, and how quickly we actually ate our share!  This year we’re only splitting the half-steer with Tim’s brother so it is a lot more meat! We have a small freezer in NYC so we’ve only made stew with the stew meat, tacos with the ground meat, and this “faux” osso bucco with two meaty shanks.

I love real osso bucco (braised veal shanks), but not everyone loves veal, it is expensive, and can be hard to find in your typical grocery store.  This recipe using the beef shanks is delicious and full of flavor!

I opted for the slow cooker preparation.  But because I only had two very large shanks, as opposed to the four called for in the recipe, I cooked the dish for 7 hours on low.  It turned out perfectly!  So tender — the meat just falls off the bone.

I would recommend serving over polenta, mashed potatoes, or pureed cauliflower.  Because we had this on a weekday, I just sliced and heated some polenta in a frying pan.  The sauce is definitely something you want to mop up with crusty bread or pour on a pile of mashed potatoes!
  • 4 beef shanks – about three pounds total
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1bsp good olive oil
  • 1 cup each onion, celery and carrot – All chopped finely
  • 2 bacon slices uncooked and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes – drained as much as possible
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

Season the beef with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Working is batches, brown the beef in the oil and butter until the shanks are golden. Medium high heat in a large deep skillet.

Remove shanks from the oil and butter and set aside. In the same pan, add the onion, carrot, celery, bacon and garlic. Saute over medium high heat until veggies are tender – about 7 minutes. Add the wine and turn up the heat slightly to reduce the liquids. Another 6 minutes or so. Add broth, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste – about a tsp of each.

At this point you can transfer the vegetables to a dutch oven and add the beef. Coover and simmer 2 hours or until meat is tender


Add the veggies and beef in layers to a slow cooker and cook on low for four hours or until tender.

In a small bowl combine the chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Add either the pot or the slow cooker for the final 10 minutes of cooking.

Serve over polenta, rice or mashed potatoes.

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