Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Balsamic-Braised Beef Shanks (AIP)

I don't know about you, but I often feel like I have to skimp on dishes because I'm short on time. And I like to keep things budget-friendly and budget-friendly cuts usually require lots of additional time in the kitchen. So how do you make the two work together? Here's another crockpot dish! This recipe does take a little more prep time than most crockpot dishes but once you throw it all together, it's pretty much done unless you choose to make the extra delicious sauce to pour over beef. (And now you aren't going to want to skip it, are you??)

This recipe does contain alcohol. What??! Alcohol on AIP?? That's a NO! Yup, alcohol should definitely be avoided because it's damaging to the gut lining. I think we can all agree that that's exactly what we are trying to avoid on the Autoimmune Protocol. So why does my recipe include wine? The alcohol itself is damaging to the gut, so if you cook all of it out of the dish (the super long cooking time here helps), then most of us eating AIP are good to go. If you want to read more about it, then be sure to check out the Paleo Mom's post here.

Balsamic-Braised Beef Shanks
2 lbs beef shanks
1 tbsp fat of choice
3 oz shallots, peeled
½ cup carrots, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
4 oz beef broth
4 oz balsamic vinegar
4 oz Cabernet Sauvignon or preferred red wine*

Salt the beef shanks on both sides. In a large skillet, heat the fat on medium high heat. Sear the beef shanks on both sides about two minutes. Place the beef shanks in the crockpot. Lower the heat and add the shallots and carrots until softened. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add wine to pan to deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits. Add the balsamic vinegar and beef broth. Mix thoroughly and pour the liquid mixture into the crockpot. Turn the crockpot on low for 5-6 hours until beef shanks fall off the bone and are tender. Make sure to save your bones for broth (I keep them in a bag in the freezer until I have a full batch).

Optional step: Pour all the juices after cooking into a pan and cook over medium heat until reduced into a thick reduction sauce. Pour over the top before serving.

*Wine is fine if it's cooked all the way in the dish like this. But if you don't tolerate the yeast or sulfites in wine or you would like to avoid altogether, use the same amount of beef broth in its place.