Shin Beef in Ale, Stout and Honey

Preparation Time: 20 mins + marinating time required
Notes: serve with creamy mash and a good selection of vegetables

This recipe dates back to the late 14 th century to  approx 1591

 My version of Boiled Beef in Ale , a dish that was the centre piece for celebrations of the  harvest and other festivals .

Ale was the main liquid of the day , drunk for breakfast lunch and dinner and was naturaly used a great deal in dishes with almost all farms and most homes brewing their own Ale on a daily basis .  

  • Level of difficulty: Intermediate

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 8-12 hours marinating

  • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 200g shin beef, trimmed, but left in one piece on the bone

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 300ml light ale

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

  • 100g clear honey

For the marinade

  • 4 onions, peeled and cut into 6 wedges

  • 100ml stout

  • 50ml Alan Coxon’s Mediaeval Ale-Gar

  • 3 thyme sprigs

  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs

  • 3 sprigs of oregano

  • 3 parsley sprigs

  • 2 bay Leaves

  • 6 garlic clove, peeled and halved

  • 1tsp ground mace

  • ½ tsp turmeric

  • 1tsp sea salt

  • 1tsp English mustard

  • 1tsp black peppercorns, crushed


  1.  First, prepare the marinade. In a large bowl, place the onions, stout, Mediaeval Ale-Gar, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, bay leaves, garlic, mace, cloves, turmeric, sea salt, mustard and peppercorns, mixing well.

2. Add the shin of beef to the marinade, making sure that it is completely covered by the marinade.
3. Marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours, turning occasionally.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. 
5. Remove the beef from the bowl, reserving the marinade for later.
6. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based roasting tray on the hob until very hot. Add in the beef and cook until golden on all sides.
7. Pour the reserved marinade into the hot pan, add the tomato puree and the light ale and cover with kitchen foil.
8. Place in the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, basting occasionally.  9. 10 minutes before the end of cooking, uncover the beef, drizzle over the honey and return to oven to continue cooking uncovered.
10. Remove from the over and allow to rest before carving.
11. Serve with crushed, herb potatoes and baby carrots.
Serves: 4
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