This is the perfect time of the year for cuts of meat like this which require longer and slower cooking methods.
Whether you are making a brown stew, casserole or braising larger cuts of meat the principals are all the same. You need a good heavy pot or casserole dish preferably with a lid. You need to have a selection of good quality vegetables such as celery, onion, carrots and leeks. A few sprigs of the more aromatic wintery herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage and a few fresh bay leaves and a good quality stock and patience! It is worth the wait.
1 kg shin of beef
2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
1 onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 fresh bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 bottle red wine
200g plum tomatoes
1 cinnamon quill
2 large strips of orange zest
1 Tbsp flour (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 150 C
Heat a heavy-based fry pan over high heat, add the oil and brown the meat on all sides. You may need to do this in batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Remove from the pan, lower the heat and add the vegetables allowing them to colour slightly. Sprinkle over the flour if using and coat all the vegetables. Return the meat back to the pan along with any juices, add the wine and tomatoes, stir well to combine. Add the herbs, cinnamon, orange zest and seasoning. Cover and cook gently for 2 hours. Do check it regularly as it may need a stir from time to time. During this time the sauce will reduce and intensify and the meat will start to fall apart. If this has happened yet return it back to the oven and cook gently.
Check for seasoning and adjust if required. It goes well with mashed potato, mashed carrots and parsnips, wet polenta or traditionally with saffron risotto (risotto Milanese).