Beef Shanks with Lemon and Rosemary

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Beef shanks are well-marbled cross-section cuts from the leg, usually about an inch or so thick, and in my opinion are one of the most flavor-packed long-cooking cuts you can get. Their texture after braising is similar to that of oxtails and short ribs, but they’re much meatier. Layered with lemon slices and fresh rosemary, these are braised simply in red wine. You could make a full-fledged gremolata for topping, but I think they need nothing more than a grating of lemon zest and some fresh parsley. Some warmed bread would be welcome on the table for soaking up the braising liquid.


  • 3 to 4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg) bone-in beef shanks (4 to 6 pieces 1 inch/2.5 cm thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, one thinly sliced, seeds picked out, the other for zesting
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, broken into a few pieces each
  • 1 cup (240 ml) red wine
  • ¼ cup (13 g) chopped fresh parsley



Season the shanks on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add half of the shanks, in one layer, and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer them to the slow cooker, tucking them down into the bottom of the pot in one layer, and top with half of the lemon slices and rosemary. Brown the remaining shanks (no need to add more oil to the skillet) and put them atop the first layer, and top with the remaining lemon slices and rosemary. Pour the wine into the hot skillet, scraping up any browned bits, then pour the liquid into the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the shanks to a serving platter; they’ll fall apart a bit, but that’s fine—charming, even. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, if needed, then spoon some of it over the shanks. Grate the zest of the remaining lemon over the top, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.