Grass-fed beef can get a little spendy. I usually limit my beef purchases to chuck roast and ground beef because I don’t mess those up and the price is right.
A few months ago, I snagged some beef shanks on sale at a local market, then promptly came home and stuck them in the deep freezer. There they languished until I figured out what to do with them. That, and I didn’t want to drive to the market that day.
I got more mileage out of those two beef shanks than I expected! Beef bone broth (with a spectacular gel), tallow, and shredded beef made it into French onion soup, taquitos, and a vat of chili mac. I admit I supplemented the chili mac with about 1/4 lb of grass fed ground beef.
Basic Beef Shank
In crockpot or large pot combine:
• 2-3 beef shanks
• 1 onion thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 6-8 cups of water
Cook on low for 8-10 hours. After cooking, remove shanks from broth. Chill. Remove tallow, separate meat from bone and shred.
This is what I ended up with:
Broth, shredded beef, tallow–which is a stable, saturated fat that contains Omega-3 and CLA since I used grass-fed meat.
First up, I fried the shredded beef in a little bit of tallow, added a bit of garlic, salt and half a jar of salsa verde. It would also make great BBQ beef!
Don’t forget the marrow!
French Onion Soup
• 2 onions, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 6-8 c of broth (I used all the broth plus 2 cups of chicken broth I had in the freezer)
• 1/4 c white wine
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• salt and pepper to taste
• Gluten free bread, cubed, 1-2 pieces per person
• Olive oil spray or 2-3 tsp oil
• 1 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
• 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
• Heat olive oil in large soup pot
• Add onion and garlic. Cook on med-low heat until onions begin to caramelize, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the onions. Low and slow is the way to go. (This step can take a while)
• Add remaining ingredients and cook on med-low heat for another 20-30 minutes.
To make an easy-to-eat crouton topping…
• Preheat oven to 375
• Grease a baking tray
• Spread cubed bread on tray, toss with olive oil or generously coat with olive oil spray
• Toast bread cubes for about 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them.
• In a separate bowl, blend cheese
• When croutons are toasted, remove tray from oven, sprinkle shredded cheese over croutons.
• Turn heat OFF in oven, then return tray of cheese-covered croutons to melt the cheese.
To serve: Ladle soup into bowls and lay a large spoonful of cheesy croutons on top of soup. Bon appetit!
(I forgot to take a picture!)
To be continued…