Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Ribsticking, warming and healthy.

That's my hyperbolic claim for my mushroom and shin beef casserole! I'm very fond of shin beef because it's cheap and full of flavour. It needs to be cooked long and slow to make sure that it's meltingly tender, my butcher recommends 8 hours in the slow cooker. Speaking of butchers, today I used supermarket shin beef for the first time and wasn't terribly impressed. The butcher will cube the beef for me, whereas the supermarket won't, he will also trim the fat off before weighing it but I was disappointed to discover my supermarket offering was cunningly packaged to hide several large chunks of fat which went straight in the bin.

Admittedly I'd rather be using a bottle of good ale in this recipe, but seeing as we're in healthy January I'm forgoing the alcohol and using other, less calorific, ingredients. Still, chin up, there's nothing diety about this rich, warming, toothsome dish.

Mushroom and beef casserole.
About 1.5kg shin beef, cubed and trimmed of large pieces of fat
About 5 large field mushrooms
1/4 pack Merchant Gourmet dried mushrooms
500g carton passata
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 heaped teaspoons cornflour
Mushroom ketchup

Bung everything in a slow cooker except the cornflour and mushroom ketchup. No need to mess about with browning etc Jamie Oliver said it wasn't worth bothering with as it doesn't make any difference to the finished product so in the name of brevity I'm happy to believe him. Don't worry if it looks a bit dry, juice will come out of the meat and the mushrooms over the cooking time. Leave it on low for at least 8hrs. Give it a stir, if it looks a bit thin add the cornflour and a generous shake of mushroom ketchup.

I think the key to this dish is not to ruin your good intentions by serving it with a pile of buttery mash or roasted potatoes. Some green veg goes nicely and looks pretty or if you want a carbs substitute, pan fried Jerusalem artichokes, roasted butternut squash or turnip fill the void nicely.


  1. I will give that a go at the weekend. Sounds delicious. As you say Shin up.

  2. looks good....I don't have a slow cooker though??? hhmmmm

  3. January, schmanuary - never, ever forget the alcohol!

  4. Tania - you could do it on a low light in the oven though it would probably need a bit more liquid.

    Dawn - there comes a time when it's healthy January or re-enforced furniture!