We got hit with some major snow and ice down here in North Carolina this week, and there were threats of power outages (Raleigh got a little out of control), so I decided to cook some food in advance to make sure I didn’t get stuck eating Larabars and bananas with nothing pre-made in my fridge.
I had bought some new spice mixtures from Wholefoods that week, and one of the new ones I bought is called Berbere, which is a traditional Ethiopian spice blend that usually contains some kind of hot pepper, fenugreek, cloves, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. I love Ethiopian food, and Berbere goes really well in slow cooked meat and legume dishes. I decided to try it out on a 16-ounce grass fed beef shank that I’d picked up from WholeFoods as well.
Shank is one of my favorite cuts of meat because if you cook it the right way, it comes out incredibly tender. Shank also usually has some gelatinous tissue on it as well, which breaks down during slow cooking to create a juicy, melt-in-your-mouth meat dish.
You can also use lamb shanks in this recipe, which are my absolute favorite… in fact I would have used lamb except Wholefoods had run out of lamb shanks that day! I can’t complain though, because the final beef recipe was just as delicious.
The slow cooker I use is the Hamilton Beach Stovetop Slow Cooker, which I absolutely LOVE because you can pull out the pot from its base and put it on the stovetop to sear the meat, which leaves the meat much more flavorful and seals in moisture, leading to a juicier meat when it’s done cooking. It also saves dishes, which is crucial for me because I truthfully hate doing dishes and the less I use while cooking, the better! This is truly an all-in-one product and I definitely think it’s worth the extra money to get a more versatile crock pot.
Enjoy the recipe!