A real classic, something which my mother used to make on a regular basis, especially in winter! Shin of Beef is a much under-rated cut. It has a terrific flavour – possibly the best of any beef cut, and when cooked properly, just melts in your mouth. Find yourself a good butcher, or like me, an excellent local Farm Shop where they butcher their own superb Aberdeen Angus beef!
At first sight, shin of beef looks dreadful – small chunks of the toughest meat imaginable surrounded by fat and glutinous membrane. However, with the right attention, all of those bits you’d consider trimming off will just melt away leaving the most tender, flavoursome beef dish imaginable.
Until recently, shin was considered a cut for the poor, but like most things this has turned into a gourmet cut.
Shin of beef requires long, slow cooking. You can turn a dish around in 3-4 hours if you wish, or leave it cooking overnight. This recipe provides a basis for many variants and involves very little effort. Add potatoes and root vegetable but remember to keep them cut large – they will break down as they cook. Use tomatoes, red wine or beer to enhance the stock. This recipe can be used to make a classic ‘boiled beef & carrot’ dish, filling for a meat & potato pie, or if you feeling daring, how about an alternative chilli?
Whatever you fancy, this is a versatile winter casserole that you can make as simple or complex as you wish.
Cooking time – 4 hours
- 500g Shin of Beef, cubed
- 2 tbsp Flour
- Salt & Pepper to season
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 medium Onions, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, chopped
- 100g Mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 2 medium Carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 Knorr Beef Stock Pots, or good quality beef stock
- Water to cover
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Dried Mixed Herbs
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Put the flour in a plastic bag & season with the salt & pepper
- Add the beef & shake to coat in the flour
- In a pan, heat the oil until hot then add the contents of the bag. Stir well, as the flour will stick. Allowing the flour to brown will help to colour the casserole, but don’t let it burn. There is no real need to seal & brown the meat fully (in fact, this can stop the meat from falling in the cooking process)
- Add the onions, garlic & mushrooms, stir well and cook for a minute before adding all of the remaining ingredients
- Stir well and bring to the boil before covering and transferring to the oven (pre-heated, 160°C)
- Stir every hour or so. After 3-4 hours, the beef will have started to fall away into the sauce, which will have thickened nicely with the flour and vegetables as well as those glutinous bits which have now just dissolved into a mass of beefy flavour. Check seasoning and serve
NB: If cooking for longer, reduce the oven temperature