I’m often asked: “What’s your best cut?” It’s an impossible question. I need to know what the weather’s doing, who you’re cooking for, what the occasion is etc. A braai for a few mates is very different to a dinner party for your boss. And the cut we recommend will be different too. What I can say, with confidence, is that beef shin is our most underrated cut. It’s the cheapest cut we sell on the entire beef carcass which blows my mind because it’s one of the tastiest, when treated as a braising option. Once braised, it’s incredibly fibrous which means you can shred it. From there, the options are endless. You can use it to fill a pie, layer it into a ragout, make croquettes or use it cold in a spicy noodle salad. For me, the ultimate treatment is as a chilli con carne. To serve, make sure there are things like grated cheddar, coriander and corn chips.
3kg sliced beef shin
2 x tins, chopped tomatoes
2 - 3 small, birdseye chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 - 2 tsp chilli powder,
1 tablespoon paprika
1 litre beef stock
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 onions, finely chopped
4 - 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
For the guacamole:
sour cream, to taste
lemon juice, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
These are all good additions to the chilli and will finish it off, along with the guacamole. How much you add, or what you add, is personal preference. Make sure you have the corn chips in hand, to serve.
Generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese, grated (how much? grated/sliced?)
Coriander, roughy chopped to garnish (how much?)
How you’ll cook it:
For the meat:
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. In a deep pot, add olive oil and soften the onions over a medium heat. When onions have softened, add the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, thenr emove from pot.
Add the shin and cook until the meat gets a good golden-brown colour developing. Don’t be shy here. The caramelisation of the meat will bring flavour to the end dish. (It’s best to do this in batches so that the meat is uniformly browned).
When the meat is starting to get some decent colour, return the onikns and garlic, along with half of the fresh chilli, chilli powder, cumin seeds and paprika.
Add the beef stock and the tinned tomatoes, plus a bit of water of necessary. YOu don;t want the meat entirely covered - some should be sticking out the surface of the liquid.
Bring the liquid to a gentle boil and reduce heat. Remove from stovetop place lid on pot and cook in the oven for 4 hours.
Remove pot from oven and carefully remove meat. It should be soft and falling off the bone. Set aside, allow to cool and shred.
Place the pot on the stove and reduce liquid until it’s thickened - the kind of sauce you’d want to smear onto corn chips.
Add the shredded meat and stir through, to warm. Remove from heat before adding the beans and gently working those in. Be careful not to break the beans up - you want some texture.
For the guacamole:
Cut the avocado in half, remove pip and scrape flesh into a bowl with a spoon.
Add lemon juice and sour cream and smash with a fork. This doesn’t need to be mixed thoroughly - I prefer a bit of texture here.