Braised beef with cannellini beans

Server 4-6

Ingredients beef shin, chuck or braising beef

250 g dried cannellini beans (or you could substitute for tinned if short of time)

3 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped

3 garlic cloves peeled and sliced

½ tsp dried chilli

2 celery sticks, diced

2 carrots diced

1 x 400g tin of tomatoes

250ml red wine

1 litre of beef or chicken stock.


1)    Soak the cannellini beans in a large bowl of water overnight or at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse the beans, put in a large pan of water and bring to the boil, skimming and scum which develops  and simmer for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.

2)   Heat the 1 tbs of vegetable or olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan and season the large pieces of beef with salt and pepper and brown them over a medium/ high heat to caramelize, then transfer to a large casserole dish.


3)   Reduce the heat in the frying pan and add a bit more oil, and fry the onion, and saute till transparent, before adding the garlic, chilli and herbs, cooking for another minute or two. Add the celery and carrot, cover and cook for 10 minutes till just soft.

4)   Turn up the heat and pour in the wine, allowing it to reduce by a third before adding the tomatoes, stock and drained cannellini beans. Bring it to a simmer for a few minutes, then carefully pour it over the beef in the casserole dish.

5)   Put the covered casserole in the over at 160c to cook for 21/2 hours until the beef is thoroughly tender and the beans soft.


Vary the cooking time for different cuts. The shin will take 2 1/2 -3 hours, whereas the chuck will be about2 1/2 hours and the braising 11/2 – 2 hours. If using braising steak,  pre cook the cannellini beans (at stage 1) for 1 hour before adding to the beef.


You can serve this with some creamy mash potato, or celeriac and greens or salad