Shin of beef

I became obsessed with braised shin of beef. It’s not very time consuming in terms of prep work, it just takes a while to cook.

I find the best way to make it is the classic French way:

Lightly dust the beef in flour and brown in a hot pan before removing. Saute the aromatics (I like onion, carrot, celery, leek) in the same pan and remove. Deglaze with a little tomato paste (added umami and Maillard) and wine. Reduce by 1/2. Then place all ingredients in a covered (foiled or lidded) roasting tray/tin/pan with garlic, thyme and bay and cover with chicken (and beef) stock. Braise in the oven for between 3 and 5 hours at about 130°C/266°F. (I find roasting provides a lower, more controlled heat source than a hob.) The meat should be moist and fall off the bone when done. The meat can then be picked through and shaped in moulds (if desired) before chilling to retain shape and allow the flavours to marry.

Then the braising liquid can be strained and reduced. I find it can be helpful to chill the strained liquid first (or reduce by 1/2, then chill), remove the fat and sediment, then strain through muslin before the final reduction. Reduce to a thick glaze and add either a little pre-reduce Sherry or brandy, or a little Sherry vinegar.

The below is served with wilted spinach and a parsnip mash (boiled parsnips, mashed and pushed through a strainer, with seasoning and possibly some milk/cream/butter mixed in).

Braised shin of beef, wilted spinach, mashed parsnip, jus

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