Keeping it simple, my Beef Shin Ragù takes things back to basics. Full of good quality, rich ingredients, it needs little to supplement it. Mixed in to a hearty portion of fresh egg pasta, Italian-inspired food scarcely achieves a better flavour.
So powerful is the public’s current hunger for pulled this and pulled that, that a restaurant I recently visited served up a dish of tagliatelle and pulled beef, rather than the advertised ragù. Time to redress the situation.
Ragù, in my mind, should have a sauce separate from its meat. Think bolognese. What you don’t want is a dense mass of meat cooked to within an inch of its life, all traces of sauce long ago absorbed.
Beef shin is a magnificent cut of meat to use for this ragù recipe. Rich in flavour, after a few hour’s cooking, eating beef shin becomes like sinking your pearly whites into a curiously potent butter.
I love cooking with interesting cuts. The flavour shin, or cheek has is superior to generic ‘stewing beef’. If it’s something that interests you too, my recipes for Ox Cheek Rendang and Beef and Apricot Tagine are certainly worth a glance.
Beef Shin Ragù
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 anchovy fillets, finely sliced
- 300ml red wine
- 100ml beef stock
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1kg beef shin
- 100g tagliatelle per person
- a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C(fan). Heat the oil in a large pan. Gently fry the onions until translucent, before adding the garlic.
- To the pan add the bay leaves, anchovies, red wine, beef stock and tomato puree. Simmer for 2 minutes until all combined.
- Meanwhile, seal your meat and transfer to a large roasting tin. Tip over the red wine sauce, seal with foil or a lid and bake for 2-4 hours.
- Pull or slice the meat apart, into large chunks. Cook your pasta in generously salted oil, drain and mix the ragù into the pasta. Serve with a little fresh thyme.
Cost: Though shin is a little pricier than your average stewing beef, at around £8/kg it’s still relatively inexpensive. Combined with a list of ingredients that aren’t necessarily costly, this recipe makes for a meal that should set you back little more than £11.