Beef Shin & Anchovy Ragù

Cooking time
Serves4-4 people
Beef Shin & Anchovy Ragù

A low, slow cooked beef shin ragù with a surprising pairing of anchovies. Patience is a virtue, and this ragù will be worth waiting for. Tender shreds of organic beef shin and a rich sauce is best served with hot buttered pasta, creamy polenta or fluffy herby mash. A zingy fresh gremolata cuts through the richness. Make a big batch and freeze for a later quick, indulgent midweek dinner.


  • 500g organic beef shin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 carrot, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 anchovies
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 330ml cherry tomato passata
  • 300ml beef stock
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • For the gremolata:
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A large handful of flat leaf parsley (60g)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 anchovies
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g tagliatelle or pappardelle
  • Parmesan (optional)

Prep: 20 mins | Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins

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1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3.
2. Rub the beef shins with 1 tbsp olive oil. Heat a heavy-based casserole dish. When warm, place the shin into the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 mins on each side till browned. Lift out on to a plate.
3. Lower the heat and add the butter. Leave it to melt then add the chopped carrot, celery and onion. Cook gently for 10 mins. Add the crushed garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 mins, stirring now and then. The onions should be translucent, this is called a soffrito.
4. Drop in the anchovies. Stir and cook for 1 min.
5. Add the rosemary sprigs and the red wine. Bring to a bubble, then pour in the beef stock and the cherry tomato passata.
6. Lower in the beef shins, pouring in any resting juices. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Pop a lid on the pan and slide it into the oven. Cook for 3 hours, stirring once or twice till the beef shreds easily with a fork and the sauce is thick and rich.
7. When the beef is nearly cooked, make the zingy gremolata. Zest the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks. Peel and grate the garlic. Finely chop an anchovy. Mix everything together with 1 tbsp olive oil. Taste and add a little more anchovy if you like.
8. Carefully lift out the beef shins. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary stalks. Using a couple of forks, shred the succulent meat into large chunks. Place back into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Spoon over cooked buttered tagliatelle or pappardelle and drizzle over the gremolata, garnishing with a few whisps of Parmesan if you like.
9. Top tip: Add Parmesan rinds to the sauce to make it even richer.
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