Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Shin of Beef Stew

I know what you're thinking.....why the hell are you posting this recipe now when the sun has finally starting shining?  The answer is that I'm on a mission to use everything in my freezer before buying anything else.  There are two reasons for this, 1) I'm skint and 2) my freezer really needs defrosting as it takes the strength of ten tigers to close the bloody drawers!  So I decided to start with the shin of beef whilst there's still a chill in the air. Hope you enjoy this one (even if it is next year before you get around to trying it!).

Shin of Beef Stew


2 Tbsp Rapeseed or Olive Oil
500g Shin of Beef
250ml Ale/Beer/Lager/Whatever is in the house!
1 Tbsp Rapeseed or Olive Oil
2 Onions, diced
2 Carrots, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp Plain Flour
2 Bay Leaves
500g Mushrooms
Salt and Black Pepper


1.  Pat the beef dry and season generously with salt and black pepper.  Heat the oil in a casserole dish on the hob until smoking hot then add the beef and fry until well-browned.  Remove to a bowl.
2.  Deglaze the pan by pouring in the ale and scraping all of the residue from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to the boil to cook off the alcohol.  Pour over the beef and place pan back on the hob over a low heat.
3.  Add the additional 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and add the onions and carrots and salt/pepper.  Place lid on and gently cook until onions are softened (around 8 mins).  Remove the lid, add the garlic and fry for a further 2 mins.
4.  Turn up the heat and add the flour, stirring all of the time until all of the vegetables are well coated.  Pour in the reserved beef and ale and add the stock and the bay leaves. Stirring continuously, bring to the boil making sure to scrape any residue from the bottom of the pan.
5.  Once to the boil, place the lid on and simmer on the lowest possible setting until the beef is meltingly tender (around 4 hours for me).  Give the stew a stir every now and again and skim any impurities from the top.  Around 30 minutes before it is ready, pop the mushrooms in.
6.  Serve with your choice of veg (I went for spring greens and roasted parsnips).

If you want to be a bit cheffy and make everything glossier and more powerful, feel free to do the following:
1)  Once the stew is finished, heat a pan until it is red hot.
2)  Use a slotted spoon to remove some beef and place in the red hot pan.  Add some sauce and bubble away until the beef is glossy and the sauce well-reduced.  Serve, remembering to charge a few extra quid for your now glossier beef!

This is such a simple dish and one which requires very little effort, yet it really packs a punch in terms of flavour.  Shin of beef is such a great cut of meat and it brings a great depth of flavour to the sauce.  Quick confession:  I went to the cupboard to retrieve the alcohol for the stew and discovered that I only had Stella Artois!  In it went and it was still bloody delicious so any beer snobs out there can stick that right up their.......!



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