I know in the height of summer it seems crazy to participate in any version of slow cooking but this recipe is worth it. Despite the season it never hurts to have a house that smells divine and if you open all the windows and eat it outside you can even pretend you’re abroad.
This recipe is taken from the cook book River Cottage Everyday, there are some really great recipes inside but this one is a current favourite.
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or groundnut oil, or beef fat
- About 1.5kg shin of beef, cut into 2cm thick slices, either on or off the bone
- 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 thumb-sized nuggets of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons tart fruit jam or jelly, such as redcurrant, plum or crab apple
- 150ml soy sauce
- 350–500ml apple juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 medium-hot fresh or dried chillies
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil or fat in a wide, heavy-based flameproof casserole.
Season the pieces of meat with salt and pepper and brown them in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan, turning them to colour all over. Remove each batch and set aside while you brown the rest. The meat may curl up a bit as the membranes contract with the heat, especially if the slices are on the bone; snipping the membranes will help release the tension and flatten the meat out again. Once the beef is browned, remove it from the casserole and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and ginger to the casserole and cook gently until softened but not coloured. Add the jam or jelly and soy sauce, mix well, then return the meat to the casserole, in a single layer if possible. Pour in enough apple juice barely to cover the meat. Add the vinegar, whole chillies and a few grinds of black pepper, then cover and place in an oven preheated to 120°C/Gas Mark ½. Cook for 2½–3 hours, until the meat is completely tender.
The garlic and ginger should just about hold their shape and should be eaten with the meat. The chillies will have done their job and can be discarded – or nibbled by anyone brave enough. Serve with noodles, or rice and steamed greens.
You can thank me later … ENJOY