This recipe has a little bit of a Mexican influence in the sense that it combines savoury flavours with chocolate. You should try if possible to use chocolate here with the highest possible cocoa content – 100 per cent if possible, such as Willie Harcourt-Cooze's 100 per cent Venezuelan Black.
I was recently sent some great shin of beef steaks from Aubrey Allen (aubreyallen.co.uk) who will deliver directly to your doorstep and this cut works perfectly in a dish like this.
4 x 200-220g pieces of braising beef like shin or feather blade
1 glass of good red wine
Vegetable oil for frying
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 medium chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1tsp tomato purée
1 ltrs beef stock (a cube will do)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g 100 per cent chocolate, grated
2 red chillies, sliced
1tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp olive oil
Put the pieces of beef into a stainless steel bowl (not aluminum) or similar with the red wine. Cover with clingfilm and marinade in the fridge overnight.
Drain the meat in a colander, reserving the marinade, and dry the pieces on some kitchen paper. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan, lightly flour the meat with tbsp of the flour, season with salt and pepper and fry the meat on a high heat until nicely browned.
Heat the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently fry the onions, garlic and chilli for a few minutes until soft. Add the rest of the flour and tomato purée and stir over a low heat for a minute.
Slowly add the marinade, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by half, then gradually add the beef stock to avoid lumps forming, bring to a simmer then add the pieces of beef.
Cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. It's difficult to put an exact time on braised meats, sometimes an extra half an hour may be required depending on the meat itself. The best way to check is by actually tasting it.
Once the meat is cooked the sauce should have thickened to a gravy like consistency. If not, dilute a little cornflour in some water and stir into the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Add the chocolate and simmer for a couple more minutes.
To serve, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and quickly toss the chilli and parsley then scatter over the beef.Reuse content