Chocolate Beef

A few weeks ago Vanessa Kimber from Prepped put a call out for people to help her test recipes for the cookbook she is currently writing. Along with English Mum & Alison from Banjoli I stepped up to the challenge.

With it being Chocolate Week it made sense to test a recipe for Chocolate Beef. Chocolate is often used in savory dishes to help give a richness to the sauce. What I noticed in this recipe was that once you added the chocolate to the pot the smell of the dish completely transformed.

What is great about this recipe is that it is perfect for a slow Sunday. You can put it in the oven and forget about it. One night we had it with horseradish mash (highly recommended, and don’t be stingy with the horseradish) alternatively with the addition of mashed potato to the sauce to help thicken it, it makes a fantastic filling for a pie/pasty. Shin of beef is quite easy to find at the moment as it is a trendy frugal cut of meat. It is also the perfect cut of beef to cook so slowly it begins to fall apart.

I have to thank Vanessa for the photo above. I did take one, but it didn’t turn out very well!

Chocolate Beef

Serves 4 – 6

2 tbsp rapeseed /olive oil

2 banana shallots OR mild onions

3 star anise

5 cloves

I kg shin of beef

4 celery sticks

4 large carrots

1 tin plum tomatoes

500ml water

½ bottle fruity red wine

50g  dark 80% cocoa chocolate

1 ½ tsp sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 150/ 300/ gas mark 4. Finely chop the onion and sauté in the rapeseed oil in a heavy based pan that can go in the oven with a lid.  Add the diced beef a handful at a time, and sauté until brown.

2) Add the star anise and the cloves and put the celery and carrots in the pan whole.  Add the tomatoes and water and stir well.

3) Add the wine and salt, stir well and transfer the pot in to the oven Cook for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and stir in the chocolate.  Return to the oven and cook for a further 2 hours

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