Beef Shank. Dinosaur Bone. Mjölnir’s Mallet…

Yes, there are a variety of names to apply to French-trimmed beef shin, where the bone protrudes northward from the centre of the meat. 

But by and large, you will have heard it called ‘Thor’s Hammer’. Especially if you have been keeping an eye on emerging BBQ techniques on socials over the last couple of years - and yes, we’ve decided to finally give it a whirl ourselves.

Beef shin, which is dense and rich, always needs a good amount of time when cooking, so we have given it the low and slow treatment here with an addition of smoke. And adding some liquid helps to keep everything succulent throughout.

The bonus in our opinion is spooning some Mac N Cheese in towards the end. As all the marrow and collagen amalgamates with the reduced beer and gravy, it soaks in the pasta and creates a deliciously savoury base. Just like Marmite (which you may or may not love).

Do try it this Father’s Day weekend and get everyone to ‘assemble’ around the table to dig in.


2.5g whole beef shin, French-trimmed (select ‘Thor’s Hammer' on dropdown)

50g Great Cow Rub

250ml Beef Bones Gravy

100ml beer (such as IPA)

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

500g macaroni

70g butter

70g plain flour

500ml whole milk

500g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

100g Mozzarella cheese, grated

1tbs French’s mustard

150g Waberthwaite Pancetta


First, set your BBQ up for smoking and indirect cooking, bringing the temperature to 110-115°C and adding some wood chips such as oak to your coals.

Rub the beef shin all over with Great Cow Rub and stand the beef shin into an oven-proof dish, place it into the BBQ.

Smoke for 6-8 hours, or until the internal temp has reached 90°C. At the halfway mark, add the Beef Bones Gravy and beer to the tray. Return every now and then to baste the beef with the gravy to produce a glaze and to keep the beef succulent. 

Whilst the shin is cooking, make your Mac ‘n’ Cheese by boiling up the pasta, according to instructions and then drain.

Make the cheese sauce by adding the butter to a saucepan over a medium heat, until it has melted and then add the flour. Stir together to create a roux, or paste, and then bring the heat down and leave to cook through for another minute.

Slowly add the milk, whisking all the while until all the milk is incorporated and everything is thickened and smooth. Add 400g of the grated cheese and mustard, and stir through to mix in. Then take off the heat.

Fry off the pancetta until crispy and then combine with the cheese sauce and pasta.

When you are 30 minutes away from finishing, lie the shin down and spoon the cheesy pasta into the dish and around the meat. There will be plenty of juice from the beef and gravy to soak into the pasta.

Sprinkle the rest of the Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese over and cook until the top is golden and bubbling (It helps if you open up your vents on the BBQ to increase the temperature for this last stage.)

Present in the middle of the table, for people to pull the meat of the bone with forks and to ladle their own Mac ‘n’ Cheese into bowls.

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