It’s no secret that shopping this holiday season is a bit more expensive than in years past, and that certainly doesn’t exclude food for holiday meals.

If you’re anything like my family, we go all out for holiday meals too, because calories don’t count on Christmas, right? Buttery mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, fresh baked breads and prime rib roast. Oh I look so forward to that prime rib on Christmas, and my father-in-law, who typically isn’t the cook of the family, makes one heck of a prime rib. But have you seen the cost of prime rib roasts this year?

Prime rib is selling for upwards of $20 to $30 per pound for a traditional prime rib roast, or $60 to $70 per pound for the really good stuff. And with a prime rib large enough to feed an entire family for Christmas dinner, let’s just say that’s a whole lot of money!

Luckily my friends over at Oregon Coastal Cutters in South Beach have a delicious alternative to a prime rib roast, and that’s their popular cross-cut beef shanks, which only cost $5.99 per pound. I roasted these cross-cut shanks low and slow, then made a decadent gravy from those slow-roasted pan juices, and it was sensational! So if you’re wanting to create an incredibly delicious Christmas meal on a budget without sacrificing flavor, these cross-cut beef shanks are the perfect alternative.

As a bonus, I wanted to include my most favorite holiday side dish, the Green Bean Casserole. This isn’t your average cream of whatever green bean casserole either. This recipe was given to me many years ago by my sister-in-law, Amber Salvey, and it is hands down the most delicious green bean casserole you’ve ever tasted.

Oven Roasted Cross-Cut Beef Shanks


2 beef shanks

1 tablespoon butter

3-4 medium carrots, chopped

1 yellow onion, sliced

3 peeled and smashed garlic cloves

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

32 ounces beef stock

Salt and pepper


Preheat to 325 degrees

In a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat, melt butter then add beef shanks seasoned with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium, add onions and carrots and sauté until onions are soft. Add garlic, beef stock and browned beef shanks back to skillet.

Cover with foil and bake for 4-5 hours.

For gravy:

Remove shanks and vegetables from skillet, set aside.

Slowly whisk in flour until desired consistency.

(The Best Ever) Green Bean Casserole


4 tablespoons butter

1 large sweet onion

3 tablespoons flour

3 teaspoons sugar

2 cups sour cream

4 cans whole green beans

1/2 pound Swiss cheese

1 6-ounce French’s French Fried onions or Kellogg’s corn flakes crumbs


Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent, add sugar and flour and cook another 2 minutes or so.

Remove from heat. Add sour cream.

Gently fold in green beans

Transfer to baking dish (if not cooking in cast iron) top with Swiss cheese and crunched French Fried Onions (my sister-in-law Amber uses the Kellogg’s corn flakes crumbs for this step), loosely cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for remaining 15 or until French Fried Onions (or corn flake crumbs) are browned and cheese is bubbling.

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