1kg beef shin, on the bone
2 cups red onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrot, finely grated
½ cup celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large tablespoon minced garlic
1 tsp plain paprika
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (most major supermarkets stock it)
2 tsp fine cumin
1 tsp red pepper (cayenne)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 beef stock cube
2 large ripe red tomatoes, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 heaped tbs fresh oregano (for dried, use one and a half tsp)
oil for frying
salt to taste
low fat smooth cottage cheese (or sour cream if you’re feeling naughty)
plain or wholewheat tortillas
crunchy lettuce, chopped
Tabasco or any other Mexican-style hot sauce
Salt the shin generously and fry it in olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan until golden and caramelised. Do not overcrowd the pan, rather fry the meat in batches. Once done, remove the meat and set aside. Fry the onion in the same pan, add a touch more olive oil if needed. Once the onions are soft, add the carrot and celery and fry for five minutes. Next add the garlic and tomato paste as well as the spices and fry for a few minutes. Add the beef back to the pan, along with any juices that came out while it rested. Crumble the stock cube in, add the tomatoes, the herbs and a cup of water.
Cover the pan, turn the heat very low and cook 2-3 hours. If the meat falls off the bone, it’s ready. Check it from time to time and add a bit more water if need be. Remove the shin and flake it with a fork, then return it to the pan and cook on high with the lid off until the chilli con carne is thick and unctuous. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Serve this chilli with the sides and allow everyone to help themselves.
Recipe courtesy of Melkkos & Merlot.
For more great recipes visit