As we head into autumn it’s a good time to start thinking about slower cooking joints.
Beef shin is an economical cut, it’s a hard-working muscle and as such is tough if not given enough time. The connective tissue that runs through it is made up of collagen (very nutritious) which slowly dissolves into the cooking liquor, the meat becomes soft and unctuous.
Stews and Pies make a nice alternative to a traditional Sunday roast. Very little is needed in terms of preparation, time is the most important ingredient. So set your oven low and pop out for a bracing walk to return a few hours later to wonderful aromas and a hearty meal.
2 carrots - diced
2 medium onions – diced
2 celery sticks - diced
4 bay leaves
3 rosemary sprigs
1.5kg beef shin (off the bone) in one piece
2 x 330ml bottles of DFS cider
Salt to taste
1 tsp of Dijon or English mustard
1 tbsp plain flour
25 g butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1 jar of pickled walnuts
- Seal the beef shin in a large cast iron pot (one that has a lid) on a high heat for roughly 5 minutes per side to colour and form a nice crust. A splash of oil may be needed to get things going as shin is quite lean.
- Remove the beef to a plate, lower the heat and add the vegetables to sweat for a few minutes.
- Place the beef shin back on top of the vegetables, add the bay and rosemary. Pour over the cider a good couple of pinches of salt and 2 tbsp of the pickled walnut liquor.
- Put on the lid and place into a preheated oven at 150 degrees.
- Leave for a minimum of 3 hours but can be longer.
- Take out of the oven, turn the beef over and remove the lid before placing back in for another hour to colour and reduce.
- Once the beef is done, remove to rest.
- If the sauce is too thin add a little flour and butter to stir through and thicken.
- Mix in the mustard, check seasoning then serve. Slice the beef (or break it apart) and serve with the sauce.
- Slice some pickled walnuts and scatter over with the lemon zest and a little flaky sea salt.
- Great with mashed potatoes, freshly steamed greens or just some crusty bread.
Serves 4/6, depending on appetite.