A criminally under loved cut of meat, shin of beef demands to be cooked slowly for a long time, given its natural toughness. When cooked properly, nonetheless, the shin is amongst the cow’s most flavoursome offerings (along with most of the cuts that have fallen out of favour), perfect as the base of a rich ragù sauce. As a result, a delicious, crowd-pleasing, relatively economical meal can be made with some due care and patience.
Warming and ideal for Autumn, as the weather begins to change, this week’s recipe from Marcella – sister restaurant to critically acclaimed Artusi in Peckham – is simple to recreate at home. Like Artusi, Marcella’s food philosophy is to showcase the flavours of the Mediterranean and celebrate quality ingredients by cooking them simply. Here, the ragù is served over pasta, though polenta is another worthy accompaniment.
Boneless beef shin, 500g
Red wine, a glass
Good quality peeled tomatoes, 1 tin
Maldon sea salt
Pasta (paccheri or pappardelle are recommended)
Cut the shin into approx. 1.5 inch cubes.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil until just about smoking, and colour the meat, in batches if necessary.
Turn the heat down and pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Once the wine has reduced, add the tomatoes and basil leaves, and a good pinch of Maldon sea salt. Bring to the boil, and then cover and cook as slowly as possible on the hob, or in a low oven (110C).
Cook until the meat is tender.
Serve with your favourite pasta, and lots of grated parmesan.
Further information on Marcella can be found here.