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Recipe: Dorset Beef Shin with William's Tipple Ragu

This is wonderful five-hours in the oven beef ragu recipe comes from Steve at the Yellow Bicycle Cafe in Blandford, using Rawston Farm beef shin, an economical cut that needs long slow cooking.

7th Dec 2023


A delicious, rich and comforting dish from the Yellow Bicycle Cafe which can be enjoyed lots of ways. It’s fabulous served with mash, with flatbreads, jacket potatoes, pasta, on toast or simply in a bowl with hunks of fresh, crusty bread. It does take time, however, it’s a low maintenance dish and works perfectly cooked in advance, popped in the fridge, and then reheated.

Feeds 4 people   Oven temperature: 180ºC, then 150ºC


To cook the beef 

  • 400-500g Dorset beef shin 
  • 500ml William's Tipple Ale 
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 beef stock pot 
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped 
  • 1 medium carrot (washed, but no need to peel) roughly chopped 
  • 1 stick of celery roughly chopped 
  • 2 tsp of sugar 
  • 2 dessert spoons of tomato puree 
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 sticks of rosemary (or 1 tsp dried) 
  • 1 level tsp salt 
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper 

    To finish the sauce
  • 3 salad tomatoes
  • A handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 squirt of tomato ketchup 


Cooking the beef shin  

Beef shin does need a long slow cook, but once it’s in the oven you can forget about it apart from checking a couple of hours in to see if it needs more liquid. 

Preheat an ovenproof saucepan on a high heat and add a good splash of oil. Season the shin with salt and brown for one minute on each side. 

Remove, turn down the heat and add the onion, carrot and celery. Add a little more oil if needed. Gently sweat without browning for 3-4 minutes, add the garlic, cook for a further minute then add the tomato puree and cook for one more minute. 

Now add the William’s Tipple ale, the tin of tomatoes, the stock pot, salt, pepper and sugar and give everything a good stir. Return the shin to the pan. It should be just covered with the liquid. Add a little water if needed.

Pop the rosemary on top, cover and put into a preheated oven at 180ºC. After two hours check the liquid levels. Add just enough water to cover the shin again, turn the shin over, re-cover and pop back into the oven. Turn the oven down to 150ºC, and leave for another 3 hours.

Finishing the sauce 

Remove the shin from the pan and put to one side to cool a little. Roughly chop the tomatoes and parsley and add to the sauce with a squirt of ketchup. Stir through and taste the sauce. Now you can season with salt and pepper to your preference and also add a touch more ketchup if you like. 

Pull apart the shin with a couple of forks, or chop with a knife, make the pieces as big or small as you want.

Return the beef and any juices to the pot, mix through and it’s ready to serve.


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