Beef flank and shin are wonderful, flavoursome and good-value cuts of meat and I love using them for stews and pies. I often make the remains of a stew into a hearty broth with either some root vegetables and pulses or some simple ingredients that need using up in the bottom of my fridge. If you haven't got any leftovers to use up, then just grab half a kilo of beef from your butcher.
If you have a pressure cooker at home, then this is the perfect opportunity to dust it off.
400-500g beef shin or flank, trimmed of fat and cut into rough 1-2cm chunks
2tbsp plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little vegetable or corn oil for frying
1 large onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
A couple of sprigs of thyme
A couple of good knobs of butter
1tsp tomato purée
1.5ltrs hot beef stock
8-10 waxy smallish potatoes such as Ratte, Anya or Charlotte, peeled and cut into rough 1cm chunks
Half a small head of green cabbage or some leaves from a large one, cut into rough 1cm chunks
Season the meat and lightly dust with flour. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan and fry the pieces of beef in the oil in a couple of batches on a high heat until nicely coloured, then put to one side.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan and gently cook the onion and thyme for 2-3 minutes with a lid on until soft.
Add the flour and continue cooking on a low heat for a minute or so, stirring a couple of times, then add the tomato purée and gradually whisk in the beef stock. Add the meat, season lightly and simmer very gently on a low heat for about 1-1 hours until tender. (You can reduce the time by half if you cook this in a pressure cooker.) Add the potatoes and cabbage and simmer until they are tender; you may need to add some more beef stock if there is not enough liquid. You can serve this straight away or store it in the fridge for two or three days.