• 500g shin of beef, cut into chunky pieces
  • 4 carrots, halved lengthways
  • 400ml beef stock, hot
  • 125ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 350g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced
  • ½ a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)


  • 200g instant polenta
  • 100g mature cheddar, grated
  • 25g Grana Padano, finely grated


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Put the beef and carrots in a casserole. Whisk together the stock, vinegar, garlic, tomato purée, sugar and worcestershire sauce. Season with black pepper and pour over the beef, then tuck in the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  • STEP 2

    After 3 hours, remove the lid and return to the oven for another 30 minutes to reduce the braising liquid.

  • STEP 3

    Lift the beef from the casserole to another dish and use two forks to shred. Taste the braising liquid – if it’s a little thin and watery still, bubble for a few minutes on the hob to reduce. Discard the herbs, then season. Return the beef to the casserole and stir through the sauce. Keep warm.

  • STEP 4

    Make up the instant polenta following pack instructions, then remove from the heat and stir through the cheddar and Grana Padano with lots of seasoning until melted.

  • STEP 5

    Heat a frying pan over a high heat and dry-fry the sliced peppers for 2-3 minutes until charring and heated through.

  • STEP 6

    Spoon the cheesy polenta onto 4 plates, top with the braised beef and gravy, carrots, and the sliced peppers on the side, then scatter over some parsley to finish, if you like.



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