In this recipe I have used slices of shin beef – sometimes called osso buco, though traditionally this refers to this cut of veal. In Italian osso buco means ‘hole with bone’ a reference to the delicious marrow filled hole at the centre of the cut.
Here in New Zealand where veal is not as common or inexpensive as it is said to be in other parts of the world, shin on the bone beef is a great alternative and any recipe calling for veal osso buco can easily be adapted.
As you can see the meat is beautifully marbled – this is connective tissue not fat and after long slow cooking becomes melt-in-the-mouth tender. Don’t discard the marrow in the centre of the bone – at the end of the cooking time some of this will have melted in the casserole and so enriching it, but there is usually a bit left there which is delicious to suck on – I think it is the best part and always hope not too much has disappeared during cooking.
Adding the sliced carrots in the last stage of cooking, add a vibrancy and sweetness to the dish. Don’t just think of the chopped parsley, added just prior to serving, as just a garnish, it also gives a freshness and lift to the dish – stir in before eating to really appreciate the added flavour.
Beef, Bacon & Carrot Casserole
For a hearty winter meal, serve over smashed or creamy mashed
potatoes or polenta with a green vegetable of your choice.
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices (about 1kg) shin on the bone beef
1 brown onion, diced
2 rashers bacon, diced
3 medium (about 150g) carrots – 1 diced; 2 cut into 2cm thick slices
2 sticks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried mixed herbs or dried Italian herbs
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
chopped parsley (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 160°C.
2 Season beef with salt. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy-based, flame- and ovenproof casserole dish over a medium high heat. Add beef and cook for 3-4 minutes each side, to brown – you may need to do this in batches. Remove beef and set aside.
3 Reduce heat to low, add onion and bacon and more oil, if
necessary, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add diced carrot, celery, garlic and mixed herbs and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent.
4 Stir in flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in stock and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Return meat to the pan, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Add sliced carrots and cook for 30 minutes longer or until carrots are tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve scattered with parsley, if desired.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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