This is a classic dish first served in Burgundy, but now known all over the world. As ever you must get the best ingredients you can afford for this dish, ask your butcher for well hung shin of beef. This is a cheap cut of meat but when cooked slowly it is delicious.
1.3kg of shin of beef or stewing beef cut into small cubes
185g of streaky bacon
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 onions sliced
500ml Red wine
400ml of beef stock
1 tblsp of tomato puree
200g of chopped tin tomatoes
Sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cloves of garlic
1 strip of orange peel
Salt and cracked black pepper
Juice of ½ orange
20 small onions (this is optional)
450g of button mushrooms
Cut the bacon into ½ inch cubes and fry in a pan with a little olive oil until nice and crisp, transfer to a casserole. In the same pan fry the beef in batches until nice and brown on all sides. Toss in the carrots and onions into the pan and remove to the casserole. De-glaze the frying pan with the wine, scraping the little bits of meat from the base of the frying pan, bring to the boil and add to the meat.
Bring the casserole to the boil and add in the tomato puree, stock, tin tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf, orange peel, orange juice and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper, cover and gently simmer for 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours on the stove top or in a low oven (170 or gas 3) depending on the meat used. Add the peeled onions and mushrooms 20 minutes before the dish is ready to serve.
When the meat is tender pour everything into a strainer placed over a saucepan. Remove the fat from the liquid and if the sauce is too thin reduce for a few minutes, pour in the meat and vegetables back into the sauce pan and serve at once.
This is fantastic served with creamy mashed potatoes or brown rice.