Homecooking Hawksmoor Beef Shin Macaroni

Beef shin macaroni hawksmoor1

I’ve lived in England for a full twenty five years. Which is long enough to know that if I find myself strolling along Regent Canal in a t-shirt and shorts with a Mr Whippy in hand in mid-March, then there’s probably some sort of karma lurking round the corner.

Call me a pessimist – but I’d call myself a realist.

And sure enough, all plans of sunbathing over Easter weekend seem to be out of the window. Apparently we’ll be building snowmen instead.

If you haven’t been organised enough to order your spring lamb, then here’s a warm, hearty beef recipe instead. Perfect for snuggling up, opening a bottle of rouge, and staving off the chill over the bank holiday.

This is based on a Hawksmoor recipe. It’s not a cheap place to eat – I’m talking £30 for a steak. So it was particularly good news that 1.5kg of shin bone from The Ginger Pig (a high-end London butcher- and do go somewhere high end when bone marrow is involved) came to just £12 and easily fed five. Delicious and cheap.

Ingredients (easily feeds five)
1.5kg of beef shin with the bone in – as I mentioned, do go to a decent place, it’s such a cheap cut it’s really not worth scrimping, and ending up with a piece of meat that’s going to shrink.
8 shallots, peeled but left whole
5 big carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
750ml decent red wine
1 litre beef stock (I used knorr cubes, and that was just fine)
1 litre chicken stock (I used knorr cubes, and that was just fine)
50g butter
200g smoked bacon
350g macaronoi
150g good Parmesan (though the recipe recommends Doddington)
Herbs: 2 bay leaved, sprig of rosemary, 20 fennel seeds

Beef shin macaroni hawksmoor2

The night before, pour the bottle of wine into an ovenproof dish along with the herbs, carrot chunks and shallots. Add the shin, and leave it in the fridge overnight to marinade.
As you can see from the photograph, I didn’t get round to turning it at all – it didn’t matter in the end, but would’ve probably been a good idea.

Beef shin macaroni hawksmoor3

The next day, remove the beef, vegetables and herbs (using a slotted spoon), and put them on one side in a bowl. Heat up the wine on a hob, reducing by half. Add the chicken and beef stock, and bring it up to simmering point.

Meanwhile, heat up all the butter in a non-stick frying pan so it’s sizzling. Brown the shin on all sides and remove. Next, fry the bacon and the red-wine soaked vegetables to the same pan, and let everything sizzle away so the bacon is cooked (but not crispy), and the vegetables have some colour. Now add the shin, herbs, bacon and vegetables to the pan of stock, and put in an oven at 150C for three to four hours.

Beef shin macaroni hawksmoor4

By now the meat should be falling off the bone. Yum. For one last time, remove the shin, vegetables, bacon and herbs from the pan and put them in a bowl to one side.

Now put the pan of winey stock back onto the hob and reduce the volume by half (skimming off any scum that might rise to the surface).

In a separate pan boil some salty water and cook the macaroni. It’s fine to leave it a little more al dente than usual, because it still gets a bit more cooking.

Once the winey stock has reduced by half, return the meat, vegetables, bacon and herbs to the pan. Add half the cheese and macaroni, and stir everything together gently. Sprinkle the remaining half of the cheese on the top. Pop it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, and finally give it a small blast under the grill before serving.

We used two forks to shred the meat off the shin bone, stirred everything together, and served it in a bowl with a glass of red wine. Rich, meaty, marrow-y deliciousness.


  1. says

    I absolutely love Hawksmoor but you’re right, it’s so expensive! This dish sounds absolutely delicious – I normally add a little bit of crispy bacon to my macaroni but this takes it to a whole new meaty level of gorgeousness!

  2. says

    I’m bored of seeing this recipe at the top of your blog. Now don’t get me wrong – it looks absolutely amazing – but don’t you think it’s about time you tantalised my tastebuds with something new?

    • says

      You’re right….I’ve been meaning to write about my Titanic Party for one and a half weeks now…but I was so busy cooking on the night, I delegated the food photography, and have been trying to track down pictures from friends’ cameras ever since. So far I have a photo of one of the six courses, and it doesn’t look pretty. Shame. Will do something about it soon. Hope SL is considerably less rainy than E2. It’s starting to get me down. LOTS of love xx

  3. spattzzz says

    Sheesh that looks damn fine.
    Re: the marinading, stick it all in bag and suck the air out, really forces it in and covers it all.

    Makin thay next week for sizzle.


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