Beef shin chilli con carne nacho type things

beef shin chilli con carne
Chilli is pretty simple. Fried tortillas are pretty simple. I am pretty simple. This is going to work out just fine.

The thing about beef shin is that it scares a lot of people. Not like Jay Leno or carnival folk scary, but scary like changing a nappy for your best friends kid; it doesn’t conjure up images of fun times and you know the results are something that could be terrible at best. But the one thing about the beef shin is it is so damn good if you give it a bit of “low and slow” loving. Cooking a beef shin like this is a pretty sure fire way to end up with a cracking beefy meal, and granddad being able to ditch the Viagra for ever. The gelatinousness texture and meatiness of the beef shin can only be described as luxurious, with a possible secondary reference to it being unctuous… and those of you who know me know for a fact that those are words that I’m only going to use when all other avenues have been exhausted. Beef shin, when cooked properly, is a damn fine experience for all. Or possibly just the person eating it…

So this is what I am giving to the human race to make the world a happier, safer and just gosh-darn nicer place to be. Unless you are vegetarian. If you are vegetarian you will probably not enjoy this so much. I dare say it would actually be quite unusual of you to cook this recipe. This oh-so-beefy, gelantinous-y, unctuous (I know. I used it again), cheesy and still oh-so-beefy chilli

Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that's what you're feeling...
Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that’s what you’re feeling…

Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps
Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps
Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That's the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too
Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That’s the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too
Aw yeah she's ready
Aw yeah she’s ready

Get in my face right now
Get in my face right now


1 big ol’ beef shin, 1.2kg or so. Get your butcher to cut it in half or thirds if big lumps of meat scare you
2 brown onions, diced
1 capsicum (pepper), diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons Tex-Mex spice mix (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon smoked chilli powder (or not if you’re feeding the younglings)
1 cinnamon stick
750ml beer (whatever you drink will work fine. Even if you wanna be a smart ass and use root beer, I reckon that could work too)
3x 400g tins crushed tomatoes or tomato passata
2x 400g tin black beans (or kidney beans or a beany mix if that’s how you roll)
2 pieces good dark chocolate
2 cups grated cheese. One type or a mix of your faves
Fried tortilla crisps, avocado salad and sour cream to serve

• Get a nice big pot out for this one
• Season beef shin and sauté in a little oil until it starts to get some colour
• Add onions, capsicum, garlic, Tex-Mex spice, chilli powder and cinnamon. Cook out for a few minutes until vegetables are soft
• Add beer, tomatoes and beans, and simmer on really low heat for 3 hours, stirring regularly. This could also be a slow cooker moment if that’s how you roll
• Check if beef is tender by pushing a bit from the bone (no rocket science or molecular gastronomy involved in that one), if not simmer for another half an hour
• Once beef is tender remove from pot, allow to cool a little and then shred
• Get the chocolate into the pot
• Return beef to pot, check seasoning and serve how ever you feel is going to do it for you on this day; with rice and a tortilla or two, over nacho chips with grated cheese followed by a short trip to the oven, or possibly what I have done today… cover the chilli with a couple of handfuls of cheese and whack it under the grill (broiler) or into the oven for 5-10 minutes to get all roof-of-your-mouth-melty.
• Serve that shit up with fried tortilla crisps, a simple avocado and tomato salad and some sour cream or natural yoghurt


¼ cup each dried thyme, oregano and ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
• Mix it all together and store extra in an air tight container for your next Tex Mex feast

I really liked that avocado number
I really liked that avocado number

16 responses to “Beef shin chilli con carne nacho type things”

  1. Unctuous is a good word. Other than the fact that it makes me think of Matt Preston and his multi-chin, slurping up saucy jus. Anywho… it’s MARVELLOUS in relation to this beef ankle con carne. Yay for secondary cuts and their melty, meaty tenderness (and economy, for those of us without Matt Preston’s bank account).

    I love the fact that you actually put the cheese in before serving, to totally up that melty, umami-sorta-ish (yeah, I’m highbrow) deliciousness. Oh yes. This is my sort of food. So good!

    • Haha. Cheers hombre. I am fully impressed that you called it a beef ankle… I kinda wish I had’ve called it that. Not to worry. It’s saucy and cheesy and delicious and everyone should get some in their belly 🙂

  2. Well, this sounds mouth wateringly unctuously unctuous. I wonder what the liquid ratio would be in a slow cooker? I have a big fancy slow cooker that I rarely use as I am so used to my old school Le crueset cast iron casserole dish. On that note, I love that yellow nice big pot.) 😁

    • Me likey yellow pot too. Got a couple a a second hand shop in the sticks for 30 bucks. Hell of a deal.
      I reckon you could easily chuck that business in a slow cooker as is…
      Cheers Mrs Cheer. Cheers very much 🙂

  3. As good as ever. Your photography (the props in particular) has really made big leaps forward. Not that it was crappy before. I’m just trying to pay you a well deserved complement and making an arse of it.

    On another note, it’s the May Day holiday here in Ireland today. I spent 5 hours of it cooking a beef rendang. I used shin. It was the most delicious, creamy, spicy beef I have eaten in years. Mmmmmm….

    • I kid you not, that is a damn large compliment coming from you Conor. No joke.
      As for the beef shin in curries, I have been using it for rending and mussaman in my weekly curry cook-up and loving it. Very loving it! 🙂

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