It all started with a taste for a stew with a kick and that little bit different. Something slightly Chinese style. Not that there is anything wrong with your traditional beef stew but sometimes we all fancy a variation on a good classic. Going through my collection of cookery books I stumbled across one by River Cottage where I found the recipe for Shin of beef with ginger and soy. It sounded amazing.
The recipe itself calls for about 1.5 kg shin of beef on or off the bone. I had only 1 kg of meat off the bone, however, I’ve decided to keep the proportions of all the other ingredients the same as if I was cooking with 1.5 kg of meat and I think the flavours were spot on.
Generally, as stews go, this one pretty much takes care of itself. It requires long and slow cooking and if you are patient it will reward you with wonderful flavour so if you can make it a day in advance you are on to a winner 🙂 . Impatients peeps, however, will not be disappointed either.
The most absorbing part of the entire active prep is browning your meat. There are different schools of thought regarding that. Some say that browning your meat improves the flavour of the dish, some say it doesn’t. Personally, I haven’t noticed any difference in flavour but maybe my palate isn’t sophisticated enough 😉 . I do, however, like the appearance of the browned meat more. I’ll leave it to you to decide but if you go the browning route, make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan you brown your meat in, as to get that lovely colour your beef needs some room to breathe.
Original recipe calls for two fresh or dried chillies popped in whole for the duration of cooking. Single chilli was good enough for us and gave a nice, gentle kick but if you like your food pretty spicy than, by no means, go for two.
Before I finally move on to recipe itself I wanted to add that this stew goes really well with any type of Chinese noodles. We, however, enjoyed it with lovely German variety “Spätzle” ,which we love, and as it was “Taste of Alps” week at Lidl, had surplus of (love the stuff). Don’t forget some lovely steamed greens (we had Cavolo Nero).
Hope you enjoy the recipe and please stop by and let me know what you thought.
Credit: River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall