Beef shin and ale ragù
- January 2019
- Serves 10-12 (2 meals for 5-6 people)
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 4-4½ hours, simmering time 15 min
Meltingly tender beef shin is slow cooked for four hours to achieve a dark and rich ragù. This recipe makes enough for 12 people, so serve at a dinner party or freeze the other half for another day. Why not bake it into our peppered beef and mushroom pie?
- 17.1g (6.3g saturated)
- 8.1g (7.3g sugars)
- 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2kg higher-welfare British beef shin slices (see tips)
- 40g butter
- 500g soffritto mix (see Know-how)
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 anchovy fillets in olive oil, chopped (see tips)
- 1 tbsp English mustard
- 750ml dark ale
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre good-quality beef stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Mashed potatoes or cooked pappardelle pasta to serve
- Chopped fresh parsley to serve
You’ll also need…
- Large flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Heat a splash of oil in the casserole over a medium-high heat. Season the beef, then add to the casserole in batches. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden. Put on a plate.
- Deglaze the pan by adding a good splash of water and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any stuck-on crispy bits, then pour into a jug and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and butter in the pan, then add the soffritto mix and the garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until softened and starting to colour. Add the tomato paste, anchovies (see tips) and mustard, then stir. Pour in the ale and bubble for 4-5 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and reserved deglazing mixture.
- Return the meat to the pan, stir, then bring to a simmer. Cover and put in the oven to cook for 3 hours.
- Remove the lid, stir, then cook uncovered for 1-1½ hours more until the meat is fall-apart tender.
- Remove the meat from the sauce, then shred using 2 forks, discarding any cartilage that hasn’t melted. Put the pan over a medium heat and bubble gently for 15 minutes to reduce. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, then taste and season.
- Serve half with mash or stirred into pasta, topped with parsley. Store the rest.
We used Daylesford organic beef shin from Ocado, but any good butcher should sell British beef shin.
If you prefer, add 1 tsp Marmite instead of the anchovies.
Leave the leftover ragù to cool completely, then transfer to a large labelled food bag or container and chill for up to 3 days in the fridge, or freeze
for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Soffritto is a diced veg base for Italian soups/stews. You can buy fresh or frozen (use straight from the freezer) from Waitrose/Ocado or simply make your own by frying very finely chopped onion, carrot and celery (in a 2:1:1 ratio) in olive oil until soft.
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