Slow Cooker recipes are often times fun and convenient! In my Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, The New Slow Cooker was a Beef Adobo Recipe. The picture for the dish looked amazing! In the recipe you will also find a Mango Salsa to accompany the great tasting dish (You will also find the recipe to the Mango Salsa in my blog). In this recipe, it called for peanut oil. Instead, I substituted the peanut oil for Olive Oil and for the beef shanks, I used New York Boneless Flank Steaks. Also, the recipe requested 4 whole star anise. I did not include the star anise and the dish still tasted delicious! Since I used Flank Steaks, I cooked my dish on high for 4 hours and my meat was tender. Check out the ingredients and I am sure you will love this dish!
Cook Time: 8 hours on low heat or until meat is tender or breaks apart
Makes: Approximately 4-6 servings
5lb (2.5kg) beef shanks, cut crosswise into pieces about ½ inch (12mm) wide.
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
10 gloves garlic, smashed
3 bay leaves
4 whole star anise
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) rice vinegar
½ cup (4 fl oz/125ml) soy sauce, preferably low sodium
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, leaves separated (optional)
Mango Salsa for serving.
Remove shanks from package, season both sides of the shanks with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy duty frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Once the oil is hot, begin to add the shanks one by one to brown them. Add more shanks into your frying pan if there is ample room to avoid the meat from crowding. Brown both sides for about 8 minutes total. Transfer the shanks to a slow cooker and spread the shanks throughout the bottom of the pot to cover it.
Pour out the majority of the juice and fat from the pan. On medium-high heat, add the onion and carrot. Saute until softened and right before the onions brown to about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and star anise and cook for an additional minute. Pour in the vinegar and soy sauce and stir the ingredients to mix them thoroughly. Pour mixture contents of the pan into the slow cooker. Cover and cook the dish on low the setting for 8 hours. From time to time, baste the meat with the liquid for about two to three times within the 8 hour period. The beef will become tender.
Next remove the beef shanks from the slow cooker and place them on a plate. Meanwhile, strain the liquid into a saucepan and retrieve the garlic cloves from the sieve. Allow the liquid to cool for a few minutes and skim away any fat with a large spoon. Using a fork, smash the garlic cloves into a paste, and combine it with the juice. Bring the juice and garlic to a simmer over high heat and cook until slightly reduced for five minutes. (In this step, I did not do. My beef steaks were tender and the meat fell apart. The garlic cloves were well minced with the onion and carrot mixture and was well balanced with my flank steaks.)
Remove the bones from the meat and shred the meat with 2 forks to avoid burning of your hands. With the juice, moisten the meat by pouring the juice over the meat. (I also did not do this step in this recipe).
On a separate plate, arrange the lettuce leaves laying on their side and delicately place the meat on each leaf using a spoon. From there you can also add the optional Mango Salsa that is very delicious and adds color to the dish!