Braised Beef Shin with Pumpkin Seed & Barley Porridge

by Alyn Williams

Main Medium ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 4 hours, plus 24 hours to brine the beef and 4 hours to soak the pumpkin seeds and barley


1 beef shin, on the bone

chestnut flour, for dusting


1.5l red wine

120g of salt

140g of soft brown sugar

70g of saltpetre

500g of ice cubes

1.5kg pumpkin, Alyn recommends a juicier variety such as French ironbark

1l beef stock, full-flavoured

3 carrots

3 Italian onions, halved

2 leeks, halved

4 turnips, quartered

8 sage leaves

50g of pumpkin seeds

100g of pearl barley

30g of créme fraiche

20g of spring onions

1 tbsp of chervil, chopped


1. To begin, heat all the brine ingredients (except the ice) in a saucepan until everything has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the ice cubes to cool

2. Immerse the shin in the brine, weighing it down with a metal tray or heavy plate. Place in the fridge to brine for 24 hours

3. Soak the pumpkin seeds and pearl barley separately for 4 hours, then drain and set aside

4. On the day of cooking, remove the shin from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel

5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Dust the shin all over with chestnut flour then place in the pan, allowing it to form a golden-brown crust on the underside before turning. Once browned all over, remove the beef from the pan and set aside

6. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin and pass through a juicer. You'll need 500ml of juice for the braising, so weigh out this amount and keep any additional juice for other dishes

7. Carefully colour all the vegetables in the same pan, then return the beef and cover with the 500ml pumpkin juice and the beef stock. Add the sage leaves, cover with a cartouche and cook very gently (at around 90°C if you have a thermometer) for 2–3 hours, until very tender

8. When ready, remove the beef from the pan and allow to cool. Carefully remove the vegetables to ensure they don’t break

9. Once cool, prepare the vegetables attractively and portion the shin into nice pieces

10. Strain the cooking liquor into a clean pan and reduce to a nice sauce consistency

11. Add the soaked barley to a saucepan and pour in enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the grains start to tenderise. Strain but reserve the starchy water

12. Cook the barley and pumpkin seeds in the starchy water until they resemble a risotto, stir in the crème fraiche and continue to cook for a few minutes until well combined

13. Finish by stirring in the sliced spring onions and chopped chervil

14. Reheat the reduced sauce and add the beef shin portions to heat through gently. Add some of the porridge to each plate, then top with the beef shin, prepared vegetables and a drizzle of sauce