We’ve teamed up with one of Bristol’s best chefs, Freddy Bird of the Bristol Lido, to bring you a soothing slow cooked beef recipe (plus three leftover ideas) to warm up the wintry weeks ahead.
Few people set out to eat badly. But during the week, after a busy day at work, it can be hard to muster up the energy to buy ingredients and cook yourself a nice dinner. As a result, takeaways and ready-meals become the default option.
Here’s a recipe you can prepare over a languid Sunday afternoon and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers to whip up save-the-day dishes throughout the week. This recipe comes from Bristol-born chef Freddy Bird, who is Executive Head Chef at the city’s award-winning Lido restaurant as well as nearby sister eateries, The Glassboat and Three Brothers Burgers.
Having appeared on Saturday Kitchen, The Hairy Bikers and Michel Roux Jr’s Hidden Restaurants as a co-presenter, Freddy is well-known for his relaxed, outdoorsy style of cooking that brings together British, Mediterranean and Moorish influences, as befits a chef that grew up on a farm and worked a formative stint at London’s Moro restaurant.
But for a true indication of his style, look no further than this tempting beef shin recipe, which slow-cooks the meat in an unusual Pedro Ximenez sherry sauce and serves with mash and greens of your choosing. Hearty, unctuous and deeply satisfying, it’s a glorious dish that you will be happy to enjoy more than once.
Slow-cooked beef shin in Pedro Ximenez by Freddy Bird
Serves 4 | 1 hour, plus slow-cooking time
– 1.2kg beef shin (gnarly, fatty bits of shin)
– 2 litres fresh chicken stock (ideally homemade with a pig’s trotter or two)
– 300ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
– 2 carrots, roughly diced
– 1 stick celery, roughly diced
– 1 large onion, roughly diced
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 sprig rosemary
– a handful of chives
– salt and black pepper
– Maris Piper potatoes, roughly 4-5, peeled and chopped
1. Place a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, lightly season the beef shin, add to the pan and fry until evenly coloured. Set aside.
2. Using the same pan, add a little more oil, turn down the heat slightly and add the carrots, celery and onion. Cook until caramelised and softened slightly.
3. Add the garlic and rosemary, cook for a further 2-3 minutes and then add all the Pedro Ximenez. Do not add any salt at this point as you will be reducing the stock later. Make sure nothing is caught on the bottom of the pan, if so you will need to change the dish.
4. Reduce the Pedro Ximenez (or PX for short) by about three quarters and then add the stock and allow to reduce over a medium heat until it is about a third of its original quantity. Check the seasoning and remove from the heat.
5. Pass through a sieve, discarding the vegetables but reserving the liquor. Return the shin to the pan and cover with the sauce. Slow-cook in the oven (or in a slow-cooker) set to 150-160C for 2½ to 3 hours.
6. Depending on the dice of the shin, in 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours the shin should be tender and starting to fall apart and the sauce beautifully glossy. If it isn’t, very carefully remove the shin, reduce the sauce to a glossy consistency on the hob and then return the shin to the pan.
7. For the mash, boil Maris Piper potatoes until soft, strain and allow to steam dry. Pass through a potato ricer (the only way to make mash by the way!) and finish with butter and cream to taste.
8. Serve the shin on top of the mash with some greens (spinach or kale would work) and a giant pool of sauce. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives to finish.
Freddy’s Three Leftover Ideas
The juicy snack: Pedro Ximenez soaked raisin Argentinian empanadas
Soak some raisins in the PX to make them more juicy, then add to the leftover beef shin. Use the mix as a stuffing for empanadas, an Argentinian pastry snack that resembles a small Cornish pasty, and serve with a salad.
The hearty lunch: Shin stuffed bubble and squeak potato cakes
Mix any leftover mash with chopped kale to form bubble and squeak-style patties, stuff with leftover shin and the sticky sauce. Fry the potato cakes and add a fried egg on top for added decadence.
The warming supper: Slow cooked beef shin pie
Using the same mix, divide the shin and sauce into pie dishes and top with shortcrust pastry, you can either use pre-bought pastry or make it yourself. Freddy often creates a mustard and bone marrow crust which would work really nicely with the PX and shin mix.
The post was originally published in December 2017.