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Beef Shin Pie – when Soup meat takes centre stage!

Posted on May 17, 2016 by in baked goods, beef

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Beef Shank Pie

Beef Shin Pie is nothing new, in fact beef shin is a very popular cut when making pie. Beef shin pie when made with red wine is an indulgent, comforting family classic.

Beef shin pie is traditionally made by cooking the meat until it falls off the bone and then shredding it to use in a pie. Using beef shin also keeps the cost down as it is a cheaper cut and with that marrow bone running right through the meat, the flavor is unbeatable. I love buying beef shin, I use it for my classic winter vegetable soup, my cheat’s Osso Bucco and even sometimes when I make Green Bean stew. For my Beef Shin Pie, I wanted to do something special with this humble cut of  beef. I wanted to put my beef shin right in the centre stage. My inspiration to make this Beef Shin Pie came from Jered Standing. I follow him religiously on Instagram and his unconventional way of preparing meat, just speaks to me. You all should know by now how I feel about a big chunk of meat. However, finding butchers like that is, hard to come by, so when I walked into a butchery the other day and  I saw these whole beef shins lying there, it was like coming home……

Beef Shin Pie

My pie idea is nothing new, I found quite a few beef shin pies in the net! I know traditionally beef shin pie is made by cooking the beef in red wine, so nothing about this recipe is traditional, yet it was utterly delicious. I used apples and beer in this pie. I thought the beer,  tart apples, together with other aromatics would cook that beef shin to fall-off-the-bone perfection. I was right, oh my word, the pie making was a lengthy process and I suggest you do it on a Saturday when you have time, but the result is truly something!

I hope you are ready for this journey, it is not at all difficult, it just takes time to cook the meat, but that gives you time to do something a different – read a book, go for a long walk, do ironing or having a few cups of tea with a friend. So here goes……

Beef Shin Pie

Beef Shin Pie

serves 6


1 beef shin, trimmed as per image

butchers twine

salt and pepper

30 ml Olyfberg Olive Oil

4 cloves

15 ml coriander seeds

2  apples – cut in half

1 large onion – cut in half

1 fennel bulb – cut in chunks with leaves and all

2 sticks celery

zest of 1 lemon

2 whole chilies

2 cloves garlic

500 ml apple cider or light beer


Use the butchers twine to tie up the meat, just to keep it from falling off the bone completely. Season liberally with salt and pepper, make sure you even work the salt into the little holes, it is a big hunk of meat afterall. Heat a pan on the stove and add the olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides. Now place the meat, apples and everything else in a pot, at least 25 cm deep. You must be able to cover the pot with its lid or with foil. Place in the oven for 3-4 hours. You can also use your slow cooker here, but remember the meat must stay intact if you want to make the pie like I did. If you want to shred the meat, by all means, use the slow cooker.

Once the meat is cooked, remove from the broth and cool completely. Pour the stock through a sieve and discard of the vegetable and fruit remains. Pour the stock in a small pot and cook until it has reduced by 1/3.

Add the following

15 ml tomato paste

15 ml soy sauce

5 ml sugar

10 ml corn flour mixed with water


Add all the ingredients to the stock and cook until thickened. Keep until needed

For the pastry, I called upon the Pastry Guru, Theresa De Vries. She suggested I use the Hot water Pastry, as it will hold th weight of the beef shin.

Hot Water Pastry

(Recipe – Theresa De Vries)


500 g cake flour

7.5 ml salt

200 ml water

150 g butter – cut into cubes

1 egg – use white for “baking glue” and yellow for egg wash.


Mix the dry ingredients. Heat the water in small pot and add the butter cubes. Bring to a rapid boil and let all the butter cubes melt. Add to the flour mixture and bring together as a dough. It is hot, but do you best. Roll out the pastry to about 3 mm thick and place the cooled beef shank in the middle. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash( baking glue). Bring the pastry up towards the bone and lightly press the pastry together to stay intact. Give the pastry  good egg wash and bake in a preheated oven of 180 C.

Cook’s Note: After about 30 minutes, I saw the pastry has set, I used a small funnel and poured some of the gravy into the pie. Oh boy, was that a clever pan. The pie was beefy, saucy and so delicious!

Beef Shin Pie

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6 Responses to “Beef Shin Pie – when Soup meat takes centre stage!”

  1. christelle nicholas 19 May 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    ooooo maar dit gaan lekker wees, dankie Nina!!!

  2. Denise 20 May 2016 at 2:41 am #

    I just love beef shin as it is so versatile and always comes up melt-in-the-mouth tender. I am copying your recipe and will definitely be making this. Thank you from a an ex SA-er now in cold New Zealand!

  3. CAROL COOMBES 20 May 2016 at 7:09 am #

    I know you live in Cape Town Nina – where can I find this butcher that prepares beef shin in this way – looks awesome!

  4. Hafsa 21 May 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    wonderful recipe! I willtry this soon. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Nadia@maisontravers 28 May 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    What a beautiful presentation!


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