Shin of beef casserole

Shin of Beef Casserole

We have started the week at around minus 2 centigrade in London, pretty cold for the fair weather we have had the last few years and I expect the rest of the week to stay just as chilly.

Hearty slowed cooked grub is always warming for the belly and the soul, pretty much anything slow cooked, in my eyes is a winner as long as it’s meat of some sort. Not only do slow cooked dinners taste great, you are forced into using the cheaper cuts; higher amounts of sinew, fat layers and tougher working muscles fibres that need a long constant temperature to break down and turn all yummy!

Today I’ve chosen to make my Port and Red Wine, Beef Shin Stew / Casserole, call it what you want, its got beef shin, port and vino rouge as its main contenders.

I was actually looking for some Beef Short rib as it’s in my top bit of cow to slow cook, however there was none left at my butchers so I opted for some great looking chunks of Beef Shin. Beef shin with the centre bone is the cut you want (see pic) as the middle of the bone which holds the marrow will help melt into the gravy or sauce (depending if Northern or Southern!) and give it an sumptuous silky finish with that extra depth of richness. Combined with port and red wine this is a true winter winner.


Fundamentals of Slow Cooking Meat

With the slow cooking, I strongly believe there is no right or wrong way to create your dish, just a few essentials you need to follow and will get it right every time:

1- Chose a cut that does a lot of work i.e., Shin/Leg, Rib, Shoulder, Neck

2- Cook ‘low and slow’ – low heat for a long time, ideally around 150 degrees Celsius for minimum of two hours, more meat the longer it takes, could be up to six hours

3- Use some form of liquid to keep it moist – booze, most booze works, stock or water is also fine

4- Use the feel of its texture as the guide to doneness – once it flakes or starts to fall (not pull, has to fall) off from the bone, it’s now eating time.

How to cook

1-            Pat dry the Beef Shin and coat in flour, shaking off any excess

sin flour

2-            Heat up two table spoons of olive oil and seal the Shin off on both sides – you are looking for colour, darker the better do this over medium heat for around ten minutes. Don’t fiddle with it, let it cook!


3-            Remove the Shin and put to one side in a bowl or lipped plate as juice will run slightly

4-            Put in the chunks of carrot and let them also take on colour, similar to the meat, don’t fiddle let it cook! Do the same with the leeks and shallots or mini onions. Once coloured remove and put to one side


5-            Add the chopped onion and garlic and lower heat and soften whilst stirring, we want the onion to pick up all the nice brown bits from the bottom of the pan

6-            Add half of your herbs and lots of pepper – don’t add any salt yet as stock often has a high salt content, taste then adjust after this stage.

7-            Pour in one glass of port and three times the amount of red wine, 3 to 1 is the ratio, maybe and extra glug of each!

8-            Reduce this down by a third, add the stock and then reduce by around another third.

9-            Return the beef to the dish, cover and stick into the oven for around two and a half hours

10-          One hour into the cooking add the carrot back into the dish, then in another half an hour add the leek and lay the shallots on top.

11-          Check the meat is done by giving it a gentle poke and it should come away from the centre bone / marrow. At this stage if the centre of the marrow has not already melted into the sauce poke it out and gentle, oh so gently stir this in. You want to serve a shin per person.


12-          Let rest for five minutes out of the oven and serve with creamy mash


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Ingredients €0.00 (1 Servings)

  • Shin of beef with marrow in middle, roughly 300gr each 1.2 kgs
  • Port one glass or more! 1 cup
  • Red wine two glasses or more! 2 cups
  • Beef stock 500 mls
  • Banana shallot sliced in two lenghts ways 4 units
  • White onion finely chopped 1 unit
  • Thyme few sprigs iffresh, two teaspoons if dry 1 unit
  • Oregano few sprigs if fresh, tablespoon if dry units
  • Sea / Maldon Salt 2 tsps
  • Black Pepper Freshly grinded 2 tsps


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