Slow-cooked beef shin in ale
- October 2015
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 5 hours
This is a wonderful main course recipe for a dinner party – the favours are rich and strong and the meat is tender and yielding.
- 15.6g (5.1g saturated)
- 15.2g (10.2g sugars)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2kg British beef shin, bone in (see Know-how)
- 750ml best bitter beer (we used Black Sheep, widely available)
- 250ml fresh vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 200g shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 fresh thyme sprig, plus extra leaves to garnish
- 1 fresh marjoram sprig (optional)
- Cornflour (optional)
- Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. Put the oil in a large flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid over a medium heat. Season and add the beef. Brown on all sides, then add the beer and enough stock to reach three-quarters of the way up the sides of the casserole dish.
- Bring to the boil, then add the shallots, celery, parsnips and carrots along with the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and marjoram (if using). Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with the lid and bake for 4-5 hours (see tip). When it’s ready, the meat will be tender and falling from the bone (check it after 3 hours to see how it’s getting along). Remove the herb sprigs and scatter with fresh thyme leaves to serve. The cooking liquid will be quite thin – to thicken it, remove the beef and rest on a plate, then rapidly boil the liquid on the hob for a few minutes, or stir through a little cornflour dissolved in some of the liquid. Be careful not to break up the veg.
If the beef isn’t tender after 4-5 hours, return to the oven for 30 minutes more.
Prepare the beef up to the end of its cooking, cool, then keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Reheat at 160°C/ 140°C fan/gas 3 for 30-40 minutes, covered in foil, until piping hot.
You should be able to buy or order a whole beef shin on the bone from a good butcher. Otherwise, use beef shin slices, off the bone (from most supermarkets) and cook for 3-4 hours. It’s worth trying to find a whole shin, though, as the bone marrow adds so much flavour.
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