Low ‘n’ slow is the name of the game for this Italian dish – osso buco. The name oso buco comes from the Italian “bone with a hole” and includes a marrow bone at the centre. Usually made with veal, you would often see this dish in Italian restaurants served with a saffron risotto, but beef shin works just as well – plus it’s good value and full of flavour, and when you cook it slowly on the bone it just melts away. If you don’t want to make your own beef stock, I would recommend carolsstockmarket.com for her great consistency, and high quality range. Her beef stock is made from 100% Irish grass-fed beef bones and a 500ml packet costs €5.50.

The next beef recipe benefits from slow cooking; making the beef tender and full of flavour. This is an interesting stuffing and the combination of parsnips and curry is that bit different and very tasty. Make sure to use good, fresh breadcrumbs. This stuffing is also delicious in a roast chicken. You can use your oven for these recipes but a slow cooker is always a good investment.

Happy cooking,


Braised osso buco-style beef shin

Serves 4

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1kg (2¼lb) beef shin,

cut into 5–7.5cm (2–3in) pieces

50g (2oz) seasoned plain flour

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 carrots, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

300ml (½ pint) dry white wine

1 litre (1¾ pints) beef stock

2 tbsp tomato purée

Pared rind of 1 lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground

Black pepper

Mashed potatoes, to serve

1 Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a deep casserole dish - all of the pieces of beef shin should fit in it comfortably. Place the beef in a ziplock bag with the seasoned flour and shake until well coated, then take out, shaking off any excess flour.

2 Add the shins to the hot oil in the casserole and fry until nicely browned on all sides, turning regularly with tongs. Transfer to a plate.

3 Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the casserole, then tip in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf and fry until lightly golden. Add the wine and cook rapidly until reduced by half, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any sediment.

4 Return the pieces of beef shin to the casserole and add the stock, tomato purée and lemon rind and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for three-four hours, until the beef is completely tender and the sauce has slightly reduced, turning the shins every now and then and skimming off the excess fat from the surface of the sauce occasionally.

5 To serve, scatter the parsley and serve directly from the casserole with a large bowl of the mashed potatoes.

Stuffed beef rolls with red wine sauce

Stuffed Beef Rolls with red wine sauce \ Philip Doyle

Serves 4

4 x 100g (4oz) slices of

lean topside of beef

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

2 celery sticks, diced

600ml (1 pint) beef stock

250ml (9fl oz) red wine

1 tbsp tomato purée

2 fresh thyme sprigs,

plus extra sprigs to garnish

1 bay leaf

Mashed potatoes, to serve

For the stuffing:

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

2 parsnips, finely grated

Pinch of mild curry powder

3 tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

2 First, make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion and thyme and cook for about five minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the grated parsnips and cook for two-three minutes, stirring. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 20 minutes, until the parsnips are tender.

3 Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, then season to taste. Spread the stuffing in an even layer over the beef slices and roll them up to enclose, securing them with a cocktail stick.

4 To prepare the casserole, heat the oil in a casserole over a high heat and sear the beef parcels until brown all over. Remove to a plate and set aside.

5 Next, sauté the onion, carrots and celery for a few minutes until they are just catching colour. Add the beef stock, wine, tomato purée, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and bring slowly to the boil.

6 Return the beef to the casserole, then cover and cook in the oven for 1–1½ hours, until the beef rolls are meltingly tender. Season to taste.

7 To serve, remove the cocktail sticks from the beef parcels and cut them into slices. Arrange on warmed plates and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the thyme and add a dollop of mashed potatoes to each one to serve if liked.

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