Shin of Beef with Mushrooms & Chestnuts
Phenomenally long recipe, but very little actual work...
2 or 3 tbsp oil
800g shin of beef, cut up to your liking
2 tbsp plain flour
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced thickly
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
250g mushrooms, halved
240g can vacuum-packed chestnuts
a large glass of red wine
a little tomato purée
500ml beef stock
splash of Worcestershire sauce
few bay leaves
Put the flour and some seasoning into a large plastic bag. Add the beef and toss it around to coat it in the flour. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large casserole and brown the beef in a couple of batches (this keeps the heat up and ensures a good sizzle to really brown the meat). Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil if you think the pan need it, then chuck in the onions, celery and garlic. Fry these until soft. Add the rest of the seasoned flour from the bag and mix well. Throw in the mushrooms and chestnuts, then add the wine, stirring up any and all sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Squidge in a little tomato purée and stir well to mix (this is not so much for flavour as to correct the purple colour brought by the wine). Pour in the stock and the Worcestershire sauce, bung in the bay leaves and bring to boiling point. Cover the casserole pan and transfer it to a 180°c oven for 1 hr 30 minutes. Check it at 1 hr 15 minutes; if it seems to 'wet' for your liking, cook it uncovered for the last quarter of an hour. If not, leave it be for the rest of the cooking time.
Serve from the pan with whatever vegetables you fancy. I personally think that the chestnuts make potatoes de trop, but you may feel differently. Anyway, sweetcorn is such a favorite with the males of the house as to make it an unavoidable, inevitable inclusion, but I have to say that good old Savoy cabbage is always a favourite, and definitely my first choice here!