Offaly Good Beef Shin Ragu – 100% grass-fed!
#Organuary 2020 is a very good time to make my slow-cooked and deeply nourishing Offaly Good Beef Shin Ragu. I’m starting the new decade with a resolution to play my part in reducing food waste, respect the animals that feed us and support a regenerative environment with this delicious ragu chock full of 100% organic grass-fed and finished Hereford beef shin (Cathy and Ian at Cotswold Beef) and Angus beef liver, kidney and heart (Ben and Charlotte at Fordhall Farm).
I promise you these guys are the real deal… I highly recommend you check out their websites and pay them a visit!
Why is 100% grass-fed and finished meat important?
Raising livestock organically on diverse pastures throughout their whole life:
– enriches our soils and our environment
– is an ethical process
– is better for the animals’ welfare and contentment
– is nutritionally superior for we humans!
Is this Offaly Good Beef Shin Ragu actually good for you?
As I explain in my book (see below), traditional cultures valued every part of the animal and particularly prized offal and organ meats… so much so, that they preferentially consumed the organ meats over the lean muscle meats. And they were wise to do so… offal and organ meats are amongst the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet. These powerhouses are rich in anti-inflammatory vitamin A anti-oxidants; rich in heart and brain-protective B vitamins and in CoQ10; a powerful tool in preventing anaemia; and an important aid to fertility and healthy pregnancy.
Liver from grass-fed animals is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to us and practically every cuisine has a number of liver specialities. Liver is immensely rich in true vitamin A, and Dr Weston A. Price found that the diets of the traditional peoples he studied contained at least 10 times more vitamin A from animal sources than did the Standard American Diet of his day. No doubt he would find an even greater difference now!
It’s winter and we all need immune support and because I have autoimmune arthritis, I’ve added home-made beef bone broth and plenty of anti-inflammatory spices (onions, garlic, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, clove, paprika and cinnamon), antioxidant organic cacao and a good teaspoon of finely grated organic orange zest!
I’ll serve this amazing ragu with a tumble of roasted, roughly mashed and well peppered colourful root veg like carrots, swede and celeriac, and a serving of well-cooked cavolo nero or kale – all seasonal, fibre-rich and gut-supporting and packed with phytonutrients (as is the paprika and orange zest btw). Steamed, buttered and peppered leeks are good too, and I’ll serve a tablespoon or two of my own pro-biotic rich kimchi (spicy red kraut).
By-the-way, if you enjoy pasta (and, occasionally, I do) please choose organic (think glyphosate) and even better, have a go at making your own: fettuccine or slightly wider pappardelle are perfect with this chunky ragu and so worth the effort for the occasion of eating such goodness!
A note about food quality and provenance
Your health is your wealth – please invest in yours and try your best to source your ingredients as well as you are able, even if this means making sacrifices elsewhere. As we shall see, pasture-raised and finished organic meats, dairy, eggs and wild-caught fish have a vastly superior nutritional profile, as do organic or cleanly-raised and grown fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Not only do real food producers and suppliers care about their product, but they are also stewards of our environment too. Where the food is of high quality, you can have confidence about the stewardship of the environment in which it is grown and produced.
💪 Giving your body DEEP nutrition just couldn’t be simpler!
Have you read my book yet?
You’ll find this recipe, other delicious offal recipes in the chapter ‘Meat is a Treat and Offal isn’t Awful’ in my book Once Upon a Cook – Food Wisdom, Better Living where you’ll also find recipes for bone stocks and broths, kimchi and other fermented foods and a chapter on the medicinal and culinary use of herbs and spices.
(Things have moved so fast with Once Upon a Cook – Food Wisdom, Better Living that I’ve been updating the content and it will be republished with a NEW TITLE ‘The Real Food Solution’ in February 2020!)
- 1 kg Beef shin (100% grass-fed and finished into 3-4cm chunks)
- 400 g Mixed beef offal (heart, live as above, chopped into 1-2cm dice)
- 250 g white onions (prepared weight chopped)
- 250 g celery (prepared weight diced)
- 300 g carrots (prepared weight diced)
- 12 g Fresh ginger (prepared weight sliced)
- 12 g Fresh turmeric (prepared weight sliced)
- 1 tbsp Natural fat (beef/pork fat, coconut/olive oil)
- 2 tsp sea salt (I favour Maldon)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 200 g Italian chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp paprika (rounded)
- 1/4 tsp cloves (ground)
- 50-100 mls Beef or chicken bone broth (or filtered water)
- Disc of parchment paper
- Set the oven at 180 degrees (Fan) or Gas Mark 6. Set the oven at 180 degrees (Fan) or Gas Mark 6 Add the remaining ingredients and bring everything very gently just up to the boil. This is a slow cook dish, so DON’T boil furiously or the meats will tighten and toughen.
- Over a low heat, gently sauté the first 10 ingredients in a flame/oven-proof deep lidded casserole, until the meat has just changed colour.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring everything very gently just up to the boil. This is a slow cook dish, so DON’T boil furiously or the meats will tighten and toughen.
- Cut a circle of parchment paper a little larger than the diameter of the casserole dish and scrunch it up.
- Push the meat down well into the liquid (at this point, there won’t be much liquid but there will be plenty when the liquid from all the ingredients leaches out) and then place the disc to cover the surface of the casserole, pressing down gently and letting it come up the sides of the casserole dish. This will keep the surface moist and prevent liquid evaporating.
- Cover casserole dish with the lid and place it into the oven at 180 degrees for 10 mins or so, remove from the oven and give everything a good stir.
- Push the meat back down, replace the parchment paper and lid and reduce the heat to 130-135 degrees or Gas Mark 2.
- Cook for around 4 hours, until the shin is meltingly tender.
- Stir occasionally if you can; if the ragu looks too dry, then add a little more stock or water.
- If you want to thicken the liquid you can use a little organic gluten-free flour, cassava flour, organic cornflour or arrowroot. Be cautious about using xanthan gum as a thickener if you have intestinal issues and personally, I’d avoid carrageenan completely.