I'm always looking for a way to save money, so when my local market had beef shanks on sale...I stocked up! If you are lucky enough to find them on sale, beef shanks are a really inexpensive cut of beef that slow-braises into a delectable meal with very little effort. "Slow" is the word of the day, as they need a long, slow braise (or slow-cooker) to break down into fall-apart goodness.
2 - 4 Beef Shanks Cut cross-wise(so you can get to that yummy marrow!)
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Red onion chopped
4 - 5 Garlic Cloves, minced or chopped finely
1 Stalk Celery
1 Can Beef Broth
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 - 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
A couple of potatoes and carrots (any kind) to throw in for the last hour
Heat oven to 275 degrees F.
Heat a large dutch oven, or casserole dish, over medium high heat with 2 tbsp olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add the beef shanks and brown on both sides. (If the shanks are sticking and not wanting to turn, they are not ready...let them cook a little longer and they will be ready to turn).
Remove the shanks, and add the onion, minced garlic and celery to the dutch oven and saute for about 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
Add the Beef Shanks back to the Dutch Oven, and pour in the beef broth and diced tomatoes, along with the seasonings. Mix the seasonings into the broth, the cover the Dutch Oven and place in the oven at 275 degrees F for 3 hours.
Add quartered potatoes and sliced carrots and return to oven for an additional hour.
Ready to serve over rice, polenta, or just mash the potatoes and serve the beef shanks on top. Delicious!