Beef Shank Slow Cooker Recipe

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Cook this beef shank slow cooker recipe and serve tender meat with soft buttery marrow over cauliflower mash or with a side salad. It’s a delicious budget-friendly dinner that takes only five minutes of prep time before letting the crockpot do the rest of the work. Plus, this dish is great for many diet types like low-carb, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and more.

What is a Beef Shank Cut?

Shanks are horizontal cross-cuts coming from the leg or, more precisely, the shin of an animal.  Beef shanks are from a steer or heifer and could be either a foreshank from the front leg or hind shank from the back leg. (1, 2) There is no noticeable difference between the two when it comes to cooking them.

Usually, shanks are cut 1-2 inches thick and always present meat encircling a ring of bone with marrow inside. The marrowbone is the signature feature!

Shank may look like a steak, but it won’t cook like one. These tough muscle fibers need a long cooking time over low heat before breaking down and transforming into soft, tender meat.

Easy braised beef shank is another simple yet delicious way of slow cooking beef shank which uses a Dutch oven instead of a crockpot. 

recipe beef shank

Where to buy Beef Shank?

Despite beef shank not being as popular as other cuts, it is still widely available.

It’s an inexpensive cut of beef, and I highly recommend cooking it often! However, while you can buy bone-in or bone-out, purchasing a bone-out beef shank seems like such a wasted opportunity because you won’t get the marrow.

I recommend speaking with your local butcher or connecting with local food producers in your area. If you need help finding farms and ranchers near you, browse the resources linked in How to Find Quality Foods

You can also order frozen grass-fed beef shank online from US Wellness meats, and they’ll ship it to your door.

beef shank center cut recipe

How to Cook Beef Shank in a Slow Cooker

Gather less than ten ingredients, and you’ll be on your way to making a naturally low-carb dinner meal with just five minutes of prep time!

In my opinion, this is the best beef shank recipe! I love the flavorful, fall-off-your-fork tender meat and the beef shank bone marrow is amazing.


Beef shank – You can’t go without this ingredient! Buy locally or purchase grass-fed beef shanks online.

Herbs and seasoning – Fresh or dried rosemary and oregano enhance the flavor of the meat and add a touch of color to the final dish. A generous seasoning of salt and pepper makes each bite pop with flavor! Finally, the onion and garlic give a subtle sweetness once they cook down over the meat.

Bone broth – I usually use homemade beef bone broth made on the stovetop, but you can choose slow cooker beef bone broth instead or buy quality broth. It’s so helpful to have broth on hand in your freezer or pantry. 

Step-By-Step Directions

First, season the beef shanks with herbs, salt, and pepper. Then, arrange them in the bottom of the crockpot.

Next, add onion and garlic around the sides of the meat. Then, pour broth over all the ingredients.

Finally, cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours.

Serve the meat and sauce over cauliflower puree, side salad, or any of the other ideas linked below.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.

You can also add shanks to a slow cooker stew like this Carnivore Beef Stew.

beef shank cross cut recipe

Crockpot Beef Shank with Bone FAQ

I understand you might have some questions, particularly if slow cooker meals are new to you or you’ve never cooked beef shank with bone before. Let me answer some common queries and clarify the process for you.

How to cook beef shanks in a crock pot?

The basic process is very simple. You need to add the shank and other ingredients to the pot, pour in some liquid so it doesn’t burn, turn the appliance on and let it cook for a few hours. Cooking in a crockpot is the same as cooking in a slow cooker. The two terms mean the same thing and function interchangeably.

How to cook beef shank quickly?

Slow cooking beef shank is the way to go. I don’t recommend trying anything quickly because you’ll probably end up with very tough and chewy meat. In addition to being a hard-working muscle, shanks have a lot of collagen that needs a long and slow cooking time before breaking down and softening. Your best option is this beef shank recipe that doesn’t have a short cooking time but is very quick to prep and start.

How to tenderize beef shank?

Other than the power of a crockpot, there is no a special way of tenderizing meat in this recipe for beef shanks. Instead, the slow cooker does all the work for us.

How much is beef shank per pound?

Prices of beef shank vary by location and quality. But, overall, even grass-fed shanks are an affordable cut ranging from $3.99/pound at the farmer’s market to $7.90/pound from online retailers.

bone in beef shank recipe

What to Serve with Beef Shanks Recipe

Beef shank cross cut with garnish in a bowl on a white surface.

Best Slow Cooker Beef Shank Recipe

Jessica Haggard
Cook this beef shank slow cooker recipe and serve tender meat with soft buttery marrow over cauliflower mash or with a side salad. It’s a great budget-friendly dinner that takes only five minutes of prep time before letting the crockpot do the rest of the work. Plus, this dish is great for many diet types like low-carb, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and more.
4.74 from 72 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 268 kcal


  • Slow Cooker



  • Season the beef shanks with herbs, salt, and pepper. Arrange in the crockpot.
    4 pounds beef shank, ½ tablespoon rosemary, ½ tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Add onion and garlic around the sides of the meat.
    1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic
  • Pour broth over all ingredients.
    4 cups Beef Bone Broth
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours.

Nutrition & Macros

Calories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 28gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 563mgFiber: 1gNet Carbohydrates: 1g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall the this website and the author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information.

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beef shank keto recipe

16 thoughts on “Beef Shank Slow Cooker Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    What a wonderful recipe! My beef shanks turned out tender and so flavorful! I have printed out the recipe and cant wait to make it again!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was soo good! I made this for my family and everyone loved it! I served it with mashed potatoes and used a portion of the broth for the gravy. Delicious! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this last week with my husband. Turned out delicious and we gave my mom the recipe to try to. It was easy because we just threw it in our crockpot in the AM then it was ready at dinner.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe with plain mashed potatos spoon the juice overtop perfect easy meal fall off the bone meat
    I give you 6 stars
    Thanks for sharing

    • 4 stars
      You can actually tenderise meat even more by rubbing baking soda into the meat and leaving to maranate for a few hours then wash off. Or you can soak in brine for a few hours which helps to break up the fibres.

  5. 5 stars
    The simplicity of this recipe means that I actually make it regularly. Delicious and tender every time. For guests or family that want a more carb-y meal, I just make rice or potatoes on the side and pour over.

    • You nailed it, Alex! Everyone should eat meat! Veggies and starch are nice sides and easy to prep ahead for a family of carb lovers. I bulk prep boiled potatoes for our children and reheat them for mealtime. It’s easy on me and no one ever complains 🙂


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