Beef shin gives soups a rich flavour and the bonus of gelatinous
tendon, too. Beef and barley are a wonderful combination and the
perfect companion to a glass of red on a wintry night.
60 ml(¼ cup) grapeseed oil750 gmboneless beef shin or shank, cut into thirds200 mldry white wine1.5 litres(6 cups) chicken stock1 litre(4 cups) veal stock4thyme sprigs200 gmpearl barley, rinsed2large onions, finely chopped300 gmchestnut, shiitake and shimeji or other assorted mushrooms, torn into bite-sized piecesTo serve:finely grated parmesan
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole over high heat, add beef and brown all over (5-6 minutes). Deglaze casserole with wine and simmer to reduce by a third (about 5 minutes), then add stocks and thyme and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until beef is just tender (2-2½ hours). Add barley and simmer, adding water if necessary, until meat and barley are very tender (1-1¼ hours). Remove beef and, when cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces, return to broth, season to taste and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook onion in remaining oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelised (35-45 minutes). Stir in mushrooms, then add to broth, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender (5-10 minutes). Serve broth hot scattered with parmesan.