Thursday, 17 February 2011

Beef Shin and Bone Marrow in Taddy Porter - The Perfect Gravy

Northern boys love their gravy and after spending ten years up in Yorkshire I’ve grown pretty fond of it as well.  Back in my kitchen days we’d make vats of the stuff fresh every Sunday.  Beef, Lamb and Chicken to go with the roasts and my god we got through a lot of bones.

Well I say we...  I actually mean we’d watch the head chef make it, it was his job and he wouldn’t trust anyone else with it.  “My pub - My gravy” and that was the way it stood.  He never took a Sunday off, planning holidays carefully so he’d always be there when it mattered.

Despite his secretive ways I picked up the art but for some reason I’d forgotten how much difference a few bones can make.  So when I stumbled on the Bone Marrow Gravy at the Hawksmoor it was like a switch was flicked in my head.

After spending days wistfully thinking about the gorgeous brown stuff I had to get a fix.  So here’s my recipe for the perfect meat and gravy – Beef Shin and Bone Marrow cooked in Taddy Porter.


2 x Thick slices of Beef Shin with the Bone in.
2 x Additional Marrow bones.
2 x Large Onions – Sliced.
75g of Butter and a handful of flour
1 x Pint Bottle of Sam Smiths Taddy Porter – You can use any Porter really or Stout (Mackeson’s would be great in here as well)
A Splash of Beef Stock – Helpful but not essential
Salt and Pepper to season.

Get a thick bottomed pan on the heat and let it warm up for a while.  You want to colour the meat and bones in a dry pan first.  Once nicely coloured remove the meat, throw in your butter and soften your sliced onions till golden brown.  Throw in handful of flour, make a roux and make sure you scrape any sticky bits into the mix.

Cook the roux out for a minute or so and return the meat, pour in your Porter and stir till smooth add your splash of stock now if you have some.   You want to cook this on a low heat for a good couple of hours; realistically you are looking at three if possible.  The key here is that you want to cook the shin through gently but not reduce the sauce.

When the dish has cooled a little scoop the Marrow out of the bones, mix it into the Gravy if it hasn’t already escaped and shred the beef shin.  Get rid of any really gristly bits and return the meat to the pan.  If you want to gnaw on the bones at this stage before you chuck them I’d recommend it but otherwise put the pan in the fridge for tomorrow!

You absolutely must let this rest overnight, it will be so much better for it.  Everyone knows it Chips & Gravy right?  This is the only acceptable accompaniment so deal with it.  Warm up your meat and gravy and season before you serve.  This is simple food but so delicious, if you only ever cook one of my recipes make it this one!


  1. PHWOAR. Lovely. But with the meat in there as well, isn't it just beef stew...?

  2. Haha rumbled straight away! It could have a lot of names really... Beef in Beer, Casserole, Stew, Hot Pot... I just like Meat and Gravy! Can you forgive me a little artistic licence with the name?

  3. Ah, it all becomes clear. Now I see what you were slaving away over the other night. Looks well worth it and I'll forgive the lack of green stuff this time.

    Having lived with a norterner for the past 6 years, I well understand (and share) the importance of chips and gravy and this looks like "the ultimate".

  4. Speaking as a Northerner, the only way that this dish could be improved is if it was served with mushy peas.

  5. Proper gravy is the food of the gods. I did some shin and stout last week as a filling for a steamed suet pudding, but that's not going to stop me making this at the weekend!

  6. @Becci You'll no it well then, if tha's got nowt moist it's not worth having :D

    @MissCay That was my thought exactly, we had some ordinary ones with it but it wasn't the same...

    @MissSouth That's some good going, this recipe would go really well in a pudding or pie as well

  7. Speaking as a Northerner Yum,but I'd have some Newcy Brown in there instead of the Tadcaster brew..

  8. @Snippet Oh no not that Geordie dish water, you need a proper Yorkshire brew *ignites touch paper and walks away* :^D

  9. I love beef shin. How could you not be drawn to those massive circles of marrow? mmmmm I always use it in ragus and the like. So yeah, it's a stew really innit ;)

  10. Good god, this looks divine.

    Ladies, enough already - there ain't nothing wrong with dubbing something hearty a "gravy" - the Sicilians have been doing it for years

  11. Wow, that's the sort of food my Gran would have been proud of! Proper meat and gravy with chips - I have to make this.

  12. Speaking as a southerner... it still looks damn good. I'm rapidly coming round to slow cooked beef i preference to steak (probably something to do with the weather).

    One question, how do you avoid bitterness in the gravy? I've tried something similar with stout before and ended up with something so bitter it was inedible...

  13. @Aaron Taddy Porter isn't at all Bitter it has a really nice finish that's more well rounded that whilst dark doesn't have that bitterness that can be found in some Stouts. Get yourself down to a decent beer shop and buy a few Porters and Stouts to see the differences out there and you'll be able to gauge which are best to cook with.

    The onions as well do bring in a lot of natural sweetness to the dish at an early stage so this helps give the dish a really nice richness along with the marrow that makes you want to go back for more!

  14. Well good. This is awesome recipe. I've done it once before ...mmm was really perfect. Let me sat thank you to the autor of this blog.