Slow Cooked Shin of Beef Chilli

IMG_1403I know how popular my Shin of Beef recipes have been on this blog they’ve always topped the visitor page hits, so I hope you find this one to be just as wonderful as I did.

My original Chilli dish was one created from my student days – good food for the masses, but on a budget.  It always appealed to everyone who tried it, and even converted my dear old mother to spicy food.  This dish is different.  It showcases the great features of Shin beef, in an unctuous sauce, spiced up with a hot, fruity habanero chilli.  This takes comfort food to another level, and presents the kind of Chilli you’d consider serving for a dinner party!

Having said that, it’s still a budget dish.  Despite all of it’s wonderful properties, Shin of Beef is still a much underrated cut, and consequently one of the cheapest cuts of beef available – for this reason, you can justify hunting down your local butcher or farm shop and buying really good quality local meat, rather than buying any old rubbish from the supermarket

What’s more, it’s dead simple.  You don’t need (or even want) to seal the meat.  Just chuck it all in a casserole & let it do its slow cooking thing whilst you prepare to entertain your guests.  This recipe uses on of my fresh Orange Habaneros, picked straight off the plant.  These work really well and are widely available in supermarkets.  You could also use dried Habaneros, or scotch bonnet peppers. I’d avoid the cayenne – type chillies (as much as I like these, they won’t give you the right level of intensity).  At the same time, don’t go mad with the ‘Super Hots’ – the Morougas, Trinidad Scorpions, Bhut Jolokias, etc – remember at the end of the day, this should be a dish to enjoy which makes a feature of the beef, not a testosterone fuelled competition of who can eat the hottest food!

Serves 6-8


  • 2 Onions, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 800g Shin of Beef, Cubed
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 1 tsp whole Cumin Seeds
  • 500ml Passata (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)
  • 500ml Beef Stock (I use a boiling water and a couple of Know Beef Stock-pots)
  • 1 large Habanero Chilli, whole
  • 1 * 400g tin of Kidney Beans
  • 1 * 400g tin of Borlotti Beans (or another tin of Kidney Beans)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Heat an oven to 140oC
  • In a casserole, add the onions, garlic, beef, flour, cumin and herbs.  Stir well to distribute the flour evenly
  • Take the chilli and make a cut into the flesh.  Do not cut all the way through – this is just top let the flavour out
  • Add the chilli, passata and stock to the casserole (this should cover the meat – if not add a little more water) and stir well.  Put on the hob and bring up to the boil
  • Cover and put in the oven for about 3 hours.  Check periodically and stir, taking care not to damage the chilli
  • After 3 hours, add the beans and check the seasoning.  Stir well and return to the oven for another hour or so, until the beef starts to fall apart when you stir it with a spoon
  • Check the seasoning again.  You now have a choice – you can remove the chilli for a milder dish, you can ‘squeeze’ the chilli gently to get some more intensity out of it, but remove the chilli solids, or you can mash the chilli up and stir well into the dish
  • Serve with you favourite accompaniments!
  • The dish will keep for some time holding at a low heat in the oven, or freezes really well

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