Approaches towards beef shin do have a tendency to hide or tuck it away. Quite often it is diced up for stews or pies and left unrecognisable, all flaked up in a mix of gravy and veg. Which is a shame because as far as presentation goes, a slice of shin lying on a plate, all glistening and serene, looks very appetising indeed.
Especially if the attached bone is pointing skywards, showing off that soft marrow.
No doubt some hands are shooting up right now, desperate to note that dishes like Osso Buco do justice in this way and the following recipe does take reference from this famous dish from Milan. In fact, it's based on Richard H. Turner's approach towards it in PRIME.
Except in this case, it is beef and not rose veal that is being used here. And rather than serve up with a traditional saffron risotto, we are suggesting plain ol' buttery mash and greens to inspire you on a cold, winter's day.
Keep it simple in other words and let the meat do the talking.
Ingredients – serves four
2kg Bone-in beef shin (we can slice into even portions for you)
2-3 tbs plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
75g Beef Dripping
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic bulb, halved
2 bay leaves
5 thyme stalks
400g tin chopped tomatoes
300ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
Maldon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Coat the beef shin slices in the seasoned flour and then melt the beef dripping in a large heavy-based pan until hot and brown the meat all over, until golden and crusted. Set aside on a plate.
Next add the onion, carrot and celery, plus a sprinkle of salt, and cook until soft. Add the garlic halves, bay and thyme and cook for a few minutes more.
Increase the heat and add the wine and chopped tomatoes to the pan. Return the meat and place on top of the vegetables and bubble until the wine has reduced by half. Pour in the stock and reduce to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to its lowest, cover and simmer for 2 hours, carefully turning the meat every 30 minutes or so, until it is tender enough to cut with a spoon.
Serve with buttered mash and greens.