5 Best Beef Shin Substitutes For Your Soups And Stews

beef shin substitute

Beef shin is a special cut with less meat and more connective tissues and tendons, making it perfect for slow-cooking methods.

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If you are wondering what you can substitute for this beef cut in case you are not able to find it at your local butcher or grocery store, you are in the right place.

We are going to delve into beef shin and its best alternatives for soups or stews so that you will never have to worry about running out of this cut or don’t know what to shop for.

What is the beef shin?

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Beef shin, or known as beef shank, is a cut from the lower part of the cow’s front leg and is typically used in slow-cooking recipes.

Since it is cut from one of the most active parts of the steer, beef shin contains a lot of connective tissues that need to be broken down in the long cooking time.

Any slow-cooking technique can work with the beef shin, including roasting, braising, baking, or stewing.

However, typically, beef shin is used in moist cooking methods like in soups or gravies with other vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and celery to result in a tender, flavorful, while very juicy dish.

Can you substitute beef shin in cooking recipes?

Do you make recipes that require beef shin, but don’t have this cut available on hand?

Don’t worry, beef shin can be easily substituted by many other similar beef cuts that work the same way in any cooking recipe like stew, soup, gravy, or casserole.

Since beef shin is cut from the muscle that is most often used, it has a tough texture and is quite cheap compared to other tender cuts.

Therefore, when substituting beef shin with some other cuts, you might have to pay a bit more than you used to.

What can you substitute for the beef shin?

If you are wondering what other cuts can alternate for beef shin, check the following list:

1.    Beef arm roast

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Our first recommendation is beef arm roast, or also known as arm pot roast, or arm chuck roast.

It comes from the chuck cut, which is one of the nine primal cuts of beef.

Beef arm roast is perfect for slow-cooking recipes, especially pot roasting, to result in tender and juicy meat with a strong beefy flavor.

2.    Beef chuck roast

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Beef chuck roast is another great option for beef shin.

It is also cut from the shoulder or chuck cut, so beef chuck roast has a tough texture with connective tissues that need to be broken down thanks to the long cooking time.

Beef chuck roast is suitable for both dry-heat methods like grilling or roasting, and moist-heat methods like cooking it in a lot of liquid.

3.    Beef oxtail

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Beef oxtail can be used as a great alternative for beef shin.

Oxtail is actually the culinary term for the tail of the cow.

Beef oxtail is often cut into small joints and it contains less meat with a large bone in the middle.

However, when properly cooked (normally braised or stewed), beef oxtail becomes very tender with a silky texture and a very rich taste.

Unlike the misconception about this cut, beef oxtail is actually relatively expensive.

4.    Beef skirt steak

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You can also substitute beef skirt steak for beef shin in most recipes.

The skirt steak is cut from the short plate, under the rib portion.

As the name implies, beef skirt steak is great for pan-fried steak, but it can be used in slow-cooking recipes like braising or stewing.

Skirt steak is not the most tender cut, but definitely not a tough cut.

Therefore, it takes less time to be cooked than beef shin or other tough cuts like beef chuck or beef silverside.

However, it is quite expensive compared to most beef cuts because of its nice flavor and versatility.

5.    Beef silverside

Beef silverside is our last suggestion of cut for beef shin.

It actually refers to the hindquarters of the cow that she uses to walk frequently, which results in a tough texture.

That’s why beef silverside is great for slow-cooking recipes just like beef shin.

One more advantage of using this substitute cut is that it is pretty lean so if you are on a special diet that needs to cut down your fat intake, or want to lose some weight, beef silverside is a great choice indeed.

The bottom line

Beef shin is one of those cuts that are hard to find, especially if you live in a city or have limited butcher options.

But with this blog post and the information we have provided about beef shin alternatives for soups and stews, you will never have to give up on your favorite recipe!

Hopefully, you can give all of the aforementioned beef shin substitutes next time trying a new recipe to figure out what you like the most.