Our Madeira braised shin of beef comes close to the top of our list of ultimate comfort foods. Topped with home-made dumplings, the braised shin of beef is rich, warming and hearty. If we had to name one downside to cooking the braised shin of beef, it would be the time it takes to cook. But once you have a mouthful, you will not regret the decision, and the cooker does all the hard work for you here!
- 4tsp steak seasoning
- 6 pieces boneless beef shin
- 3tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 red onions, chopped
- 4 celery sticks, chopped
- 300ml Madeira or red wine
- 300ml balsamic vinegar
- 1ltr beef stock
- 1½ x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
- few sprigs of thyme
- For the dumplings:
- 350g self-raising flour
- 150g beef suet
- 3tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1tbsp thyme leaves
- 1ltr chicken stock
- To serve:
- orange-glazed carrots (optional)
- cheesy potato bake (optional)
Heat the oven to 160°C. Sprinkle the beef seasoning over the beef. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish. Sear the beef for several mins on each side, to brown.
Add the onion and celery and cook for a few mins, to soften. Pour in the Madeira, or wine; heat and let it bubble for a few mins. Then add the balsamic vinegar, beef stock, canned cherry tomatoes and a few sprigs of thyme. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hours, until the beef is really tender.
After 2 hours, make the dumplings. Mix the flour, suet, a couple of generous pinches of salt, the chopped parsley and the thyme leaves together in a bowl. Gradually add 200-300ml water, to form a soft dough.
Pour the chicken stock into a large pan and bring to the boil. Tip the dumpling mixture on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently to bring the dough together. Divide it into 6, then cut each piece into 3 to make 18 pieces in total. Shape into 18 balls.
Add the dumplings to the boiling chicken stock, cover and cook for 15 mins, until they are cooked through.
Serve the beef with the Madeira or red-wine gravy, 3 dumplings, the carrots and a sprig of thyme, and chessy potatoes.