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Beef Shin a l’Ancienne

Beef Shin recipe

Beef shin is bursting with flavour but it takes time to entice the flavour out. This recipe doesn’t take long to put together, but there will be plenty of time to do the chores, or pop out for a beer while waiting for it to cook.

Ingredients - serves 4

plain flour, for coating
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices of beef shin on the bone (about 200g each, but you will have to work with the butcher on this one. I have never had electric band saws in my shops, so it’s all about the skill of the butcher)
2 medium carrots, peeled and halved
2 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks, halved
12 baby onions, peeled, left whole
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of thyme
1 x 440ml can or bottle of beer (any beer of choice is fine. Stout will give a big, rich flavour or use a good ale)
400ml beef stock
horseradish sauce, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180˚C. 

In a large dish or bowl, pour a good helping of flour and season it well with black pepper and salt. Turn each piece of beef in the flour and make sure it is all well covered. Transfer the meat to a large casserole, big enough to hold all of the ingredients. 

Turn the carrot, turnip and celery pieces and onions in the remaining seasoned flour and add them to the beef shin, spacing them out. Add in the garlic, thyme, beer and stock.

Bring to the boil on the stove. Cove the casserole tightly. If it has a fitting lid, put one layer of tinfoil across the dish, and then the lid. If there is no lid, two layers of foils should do the trick. The aim is to ensure that no moisture escapes and that the stock doesn’t evaporate.

Put the casserole in the middle of the oven and cook for 3 hours. By the end of cooking, the meat will be very tender and falling from the bone. You should be able to pull the beef apart with a fork or spoon. 

Serve a piece of the beef into each of four deep bowls. Remove the thyme stalks from the liquid and give everything else a good stir. Adjust the seasoning and share the vegetables and sauce. For those that like it, a good teaspoon of horseradish sauce on top is a delicious final touch. This is a perfect dish to serve with dumplings if you feel so inclined.