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Beef shin stew recipe by Helen Rebanks

Beef shin stew with root vegetables and red wine

Beef shin is a perfect cut of meat for this inexpensive, delicious winter stew. It cooks slowly and is so tender that it falls apart as you eat it. This stew takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and cooks away all day, filling the kitchen with an amazing smell.

From Helen Rebanks' new book, The Farmer's Wife.

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 4. hours
Serves 6–8


  • 500g/1lb beef shin, diced

  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned well with salt and pepper

  • 1 tsp lard or splash of olive oil (for browning the meat)

  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks

  • 1 parsnip, cut into chunks

  • 1 leek, cut into slices

  • 1 onion, cut into chunks

  • 3 garlic cloves, bashed

  • 1 beetroot, cut into chunks, or a few whole button mushrooms

  • 1 large glass/pint red wine

  • rosemary, thyme or a bouquet garni (optional)

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 570ml/1 pint good beef stock

  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste in a little water (optional)

Greens and mash, or rice, to serve


 1. Toss the meat in the seasoned flour and heat a little lard or olive oil in a wide frying pan. Place the beef pieces in to brown them, turning when they’ve got a good deep colour but not stirring.

2. Place the browned meat in a slow cooker or casserole pot.

3. Gently cook the vegetables in the browning pan to soften them. Feel free to substitute the vegetables for whatever you like and have to hand. Turnip, squash or celeriac also work well in this.

4. Tip the vegetables into the slow cooker or casserole and stir into the meat.

5. Pour the red wine into the browning pan, sizzling it up and scraping  everything from the pan into the liquid, then tip the wine mixture over the meat and vegetables and add herbs if using.

6. Add the tomato puree and stock and stir well, then put the lid on and set to cook on medium for 4 hours. It is best left to cool and be reheated the next day, as it naturally thickens. But if you are serving it straight away and the gravy is too thin, simmer without the lid on for a further 10 minutes to reduce it, or add the cornflour paste and cook on the hob for a further 10 minutes.

Serve with fresh greens like cabbage, beans or broccoli and some buttery mash or sweet potato mash. I also serve this with rice sometimes.

The Farmer's Wife

A poetic memoir about motherhood, food and love with over fifty recipes. Set over one day in Helen Rebank's life on her farm in the Lake District.

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