Recipe: Very slow shin beef

Rating: 4.4 stars based on 1423 reviews

Prep:10min › Cook:8hr › Ready in:8hr10min


  • Serves: 4
  • 1kg beef shin, cut into large egg sized chunks
  • Half a bottle Chianti or other Italian red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 large onions - sliced
  • 2-3 medium carrots - sliced into thick rings
  • 8 cloves of garlic - peeled whole
  • 2 sticks of celery - chopped finely
  • 200g bacon lardons
  • Bay leaf
  • Few sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Butter for frying - about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tblspn tomato puree
  • Splash balsamic vinegar
  • Plain flour for dredging


  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large frying pan. Add bacon lardons and fry for a few minutes. Set bacon aside once cooked, removing using a slatted spoon to keep as much fat as possible in the pan.
  • Crush garlic cloves under the flat of a large knife to release juices. Add these to frying pan, alongside onions, celery and carrots. Fry for approx 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add to slow cooker.
  • Dredge beef in flour and shake to remove excess. Brown in pan, a few chunks at a time. Brown for a few minutes only, it doesn't matter if the meat is not 'sealed'. Add to the slow cooker.
  • Deglaze pan with a little red wine to lift any meat or remaining ingredients from pan. Add to slow cooker along with the remaining wine, stock, tomato purée, balsamic, bay leaf and rosemary. Ensure the beef is covered by the liquid and cover. Season with a little salt and pepper (not too much, the bacon will add a lot of saltiness to the stew anyway). Cook on HIGH for 1 hour and then turn to LOW for 7-8 hours.
  • Add bacon lardons to slow cooker approx 2 hrs before the end.
  • Once cooked (the beef should fall apart with a gentle prod from a fork), drain the ingredients into a sieve over a large pan. Heat the liquid in the pan on high for approx 10 mins to thicken. Optional - use a flour or cornflour paste (1 tablespoon flour & 1 tablespoon water) for a thicker gravy.
  • Remove bay leaf and rosemary from meat mixture. Serve atop mashed potato or alongside some greens, pouring the thickened liquid over the beef.


Beef shin is perfect if you can get it. It doesn't look great, but all of that unattractive sinew and connective tissue will melt away in the slow cooker. This does two things - it means that the beef literally falls apart once cooked, and it adds a gelatinous richness to your broth. After a couple of days in the fridge, the stew had formed into a jelly like substance! Again not attractive but the sign of a very rich stew. Stewing steak would be a fine alternative, but make sure you're using a really good quality beef stock to get that same rich, unctuous taste and texture.


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