Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Braised Shin of Beef

I found some lovely pieces of beef shin in the supermarket and knew they would be just lovely done in the slow cooker, long and slow is what really brings the best out of cheaper cuts of meat. I have never cooked shin of beef before but have taken to these kinds of cuts as they work so very well in the slow cooker and it makes for incredibly effortless, tasty and very affordable cooking. I found a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on the internet and knew it would be ideal. I added dumplings about half an hour before serving and they were light and fluffy, yet wonderfully substantial and complimentary to this hearty stew! I have really taken to using dumplings as they are so easy and quick to make and are a great substitute for potatoes or bread with soups and stews. I have Vicky to thank for putting me onto them, I really do thrash her recipe for them!
Braised Shin of Beef


2 tbsp olive oil
500g/1lb 2oz un-smoked pancetta, chopped into large cubes (I used ordinary streaky bacon)1.5kg shin of beef, sliced into 2.5cm (1in) wide rounds
85ml/3fl oz red wine
1kg/2¼lb large organic winter carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 head of celery, roughly chopped
1kg/2¼lb pickling onions or shallots
1kg/2¼lb tomatoes, roasted and sieved to a purée (I cheated here and used chopped tinned tomatoes!)
1 litre/1¾ pints good beef stock or water
1 bouquet garni
mashed potatoes, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the pancetta and fry until brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and add to a large stock pot or casserole dish.

2. Fry the shin of beef in the frying pan, on both sides, until well browned. Transfer the shin to the stock pot.

3. Pour the red wine into the frying pan and stir, for 2-3 minutes to collect the cooking juices. Tip into the pot.
4. Place the stock pot over a gentle heat.(or transfer to a slow cooker) Add the carrots, celery and onions. Pour in the tomato purée and enough stock or water to cover the meat and vegetables. Add the bouquet garni and cover with a lid.

5. Simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally(8-9 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high in slow cooker). Serve with mashed potato.

Herb and Mustard Dumplings

1 c SR flour
25 g cold butter, grated
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley and chives, chopped
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
milk to combine
Put all ingredients in bowl and work butter through flour. With a knife mix milk in until you have a fairly firm dough, don’t overwork. Roll into walnut sized balls and drop into stew about ½ an hour before serving. They should swell up to about twice the size.


Coby said...

Ohh, this is my kinda food! I too adore dumplings with slow-cooked foods. Turns a meal into a feast! Looking at the photos, I think I can almost smell that braise!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Linda this looks lovely. I use shin all the time for stews and casseroles. To me it is the most forgiving cut for long slow cooking. It doesn't go stringy. It should do so well in a slow cooker.