The Crooked Billet

Braised Shin of Beef, Winter Roots, Lemon & Parsley

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I’m a big fan of slow-cooked dishes, stews & casseroles. Britain excels at this kind of winter cookery, the principals of which I picked up as a kid sitting at my grandma’s kitchen table, watching her cook.

The following beef shin recipe being my take on Osso Buco (meaning hollow bone) using veal shin, sawn cross-section to include the bone.

Nothing to stop you substituting veal for beef shin – I like the beef – it’s more gelatinous. Look out for English rose veal ( – which hasn’t been subjected to the horrors of continental veal production.

6 slices beef shin, about 4cm thick

Seasoned flour

Glug of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed & chopped

2 carrots, roughly chopped

3 celery sticks, roughly chopped

2 medium onions, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf (or lemon leaf)

250ml dry white wine

350ml chicken or veal stock

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Dust the shin slices in seasoned flour. Find a casserole or roasting tin large enough to accommodate the slices lying down flat.

Heat a glug of oil in this pot on the hob. Seal & brown the shin slices 5 minutes each side. Remove & reserve the meat & in the same pot, seal & soften the garlic, celery, carrot & onion. Return the meat, carefully arranged flat side down. Add the wine & reduce a little – then add the stock & bay (or lemon) leaf & bring to a gentle simmer.

Pop the lid on the casserole or cover with foil, place in preheated oven & slowly cook for 2 hours until the meat falls away from the bone.

Keep an eye on the volume of cooking liquor & top up a little if necessary during cooking. Carefully turn the shin slices after an hour.

In foodie talk, the zest accompaniment is ‘gremolata’. Mix together lemon zest, parsley & garlic. A generous pinch of gremolata over each serving of slow cooked shin & a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, buttery mash with a pinch of saffron…perfect.