This is good on an autumn/winter day. Enough for 2-3 but could be padded out with more mashed potato.
- 2 tbsp oil or fat (I used some fat that remained after grilling some bacon)
- 400g beef shin (I bought some on special offer at Waitrose together with slices of marrow bone), cut in to pieces about 2cm square
- 1 large onion (roughly sliced)
- 1 large carrot (cut into 3cm lengths, halved/quartered lengthways where necessary)
- 1 large parsnip (cut into 3cm lengths, halved/quartered lengthways where necessary)
- 1 stick celery (sliced into 2cm lengths)
- 1 leek (the white part sliced into 2cm lengths) – I saved the green bits to cook with a bacon joint later in the week
- 1 portabello mushroom (or 3 smaller mushrooms) diced
- A few tomatoes, skinned and chopped (I found some late ripening ones in the garden) or 2 tspn tomato purée
- 1/2 beef stock cube
- Bouquet garni (a few sprigs of parsley and thyme, tied up with a clove of garlic and two bay leaves) or a pinch or 2 of mixed herbs
- Black pepper to taste
- Hot water
- Chopped parsley (optional)
Heat the oil in a large thick bottomed pan. When smoking add the meat pieces (I also added the bone slices at this point). Stir until browned. Remove onto a plate. Add the onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and leek. Stir well and turn down the heat and allow to ‘sweat’ for about 5 minutes.
Add the mushroom and tomatoes and stir well. Return the meat to the pan. Add the crumbled stock cube (and the mixed herbs (if using)), and black pepper, and add sufficient hot water to just cover the contents of the pan. Stir well. If using the bouquet garni place it in the middle of the meat/vegetable mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 2.5 to 3 hours (or use a slow cooker).
Remove the bouquet garni (if using). Check seasoning, and serve with mashed potato and chopped parsley (optional).