This slow-cooked beef shin (beef shank) stew is rich and flavorful. It is the perfect comfort food recipe served with fluffy Parmesan dumplings and creamy mashed potatoes.
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What is beef shank?
Beef shank is a leg portion. It is also often called beef shin. It’s a very affordable cut of meat. Because it is from the part of the animal that moves the most, the meat tends to be very tough so low, slow cooking (preferably braising) is ideal to break down the connective tissue.
How to cook beef shin stew
- Beef shin / Beef shank: Ask your butcher for beef shin or shank cut into 2cm (3/4 inch) slices. Season the beef on both sides with salt and black pepper and brown in a large, oven-proof pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Brown the beef on both sides then remove from the pot and set aside.
- Vegetables and aromatics: A classic mirepoix or sofrito consisting of onion, carrot and celery is used to add flavor to this stew. Saute the vegetables in a splash of olive oil in the same pot. I like using bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and garlic as well. After the vegetables and aromatics are starting to soften, add tomatoes, sugar and red wine. Stir in the beef back into the pot then pour in beef stock or broth, Balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Braising: Place the pot in a 160ºC/320ºF oven and allow to braise slowly for 2-3 hours, until the meat is soft and tender. Check the stew every hour or so and top up with beef stock if necessary as the sauce can reduce down quite a bit while cooking.
- Dumplings: Combine all the ingredients except for the milk in a food processor and pulse until it resembles rough crumbs. Stream the milk in until the dough just comes together. Form golf-ball sized dumplings and place on top of the stew. Cover with a lid and place back in the oven to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the dumplings are risen and cooked through.
What to serve with beef stew
- Parmesan garlic mashed potatoes
- Easy crusty bread
- Spicy garlic roasted broccoli
- Easy cauliflower mash
- Rosemary Pecorino Potato bread
Beef stew recipes
Beef shin stew with Parmesan dumplings
for the stew
- 1 kg (2lbs) beef shin / beef shank sliced into 2cm slices
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 400 g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
for the Parmesan dumplings
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- 1/3 cup Parmesan grated
- ½ cup milk
- To make the stew, season the beef shin with salt and pepper and sear in a heavy-based pot in a splash of oil until browned on both sides.
- Remove the shin from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, fry the onion, celery and carrots until soft and fragrant.
- Add garlic and herbs and fry for another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes, sugar and wine and allow to come up to a simmer.
- Add the beef back into the pot and pour in the beef stock and Balsamic vinegar.
- Turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 2 hours until the beef is soft. Alternatively, place in an oven preheated to 160°C/320°F. Check the stew every 30-60 minutes and top up with beef stock if necessary.
- To make the dumplings, place the butter, flour, baking powder, salt and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
- With the motor running, pour in the milk slowly until the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Remove and form dumplings, just slightly smaller than golf balls.
- Place the dumplings on top of the stew and cover with the lid. Allow to steam for 20 minutes. (Make sure the stew is simmering gently otherwise the dumplings will fall apart.)
- When the dumplings are cooked through, remove the lid and serve immediately.