Sunday, December 1, 2013

Easy and Excellent Slow Cooker Braised Beef

This is the simplest recipe I have developed for braised beef, but it is astonishingly good. You can use shanks, short ribs, or a pot roast cut. To speed the morning preparation, brown the beef the night before and refrigerate. Load everything in the cooker in the morning and revel in your forethought come suppertime.

Braised beef shanks with a side of Maple Walnut Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

3 lbs beef shanks, short ribs, or similar
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
1 head garlic, unpeeled
3/4 cup dry red wine
Beef stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4-1/2 tsp dried

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel, then lightly oil all over.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper all over. Place in a baking pan, then brown in the oven for at least 10 minutes per side.  If desired, refrigerate for up to a few days before slow cooking.

Separate the head of garlic into cloves but do not peel. Place the garlic in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pay the browned beef on top of the garlic. Pour in the red wine, then add enough beef stock to cover the meet about three quarters of the way. Top with the sprigs of thyme or a sprinkling of dried thyme. Cover the cooker and cook on Low for 7-9 hours, until meet is very tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, or with a side of roasted potatoes or root vegetables, with plenty of the braising liquid spooned over the meat.

Serves 4-6.

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