Recipes for beef shanks cooked in a crock pot, or slow cooker, can be found at Serious Eats and the Hartford Courant. Both recipes use four bone-in beef shanks that weigh around 2-1/2 pounds. One recipe uses a two-step cooking method that requires stove top cooking ahead of time.
Preparing osso buco style beef shanks requires braising the beef in a Dutch oven for about five minutes. Beef shanks are seasoned with salt and pepper, dredged in flour, and then browned on both sides. After placing the meat into the slow cooker, vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery are cooked in the same pan until soft. Garlic, tomato paste and dry white wine are mixed in with the vegetables before being transferred into the slow cooker. Additional liquids used to create a savory broth include chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. The meat cooks on low heat for six hours, and a gravy is made from the meat sauce. This dish also uses a gremolata mixture of garlic, parsley and lemon zest, which is used as a garnish.
Making slow-cooked beef shanks can be as easy as combining all ingredients into the slow cooker and turning it on. That's exactly how the Hartford Courant recipe is prepared. The beef shanks are seasoned and layered in the slow cooker with other ingredients before cooking for five hours.