Carbs reloaded

Fuelling your runs needn't be all pasta and rice. Michelin-starred chef Anthony Demetre introduces some nutritious alternative carb dishes.

 5 of 5 


Why eat it? Basically, it’s a posh Italian name for a cornmeal paste of high-fibre, complex carbs. It’s also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, enzyme-enabling zinc, immune-boosting vitamin B6 and iron, which is vital for efficient delivery of oxygen to your muscles. Also, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the carotenoids in polenta – vital for immune function, healthy cell growth and night vision – are absorbed better than from other veg . Handy on after-dark runs, then.

Slow cooked shin of beef, soft organic polenta and olive oil

What goes in (serves 4)

  • 1 shin of beef
  • Flour
  • Splash of vegetable oil
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 375g Port
  • 375g full-bodied red wine
  • 40g Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bouquet garni (bundle of herbs)
  • 2 litres of chicken stock 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan

How to create it

  • Lightly coat the shin in seasoned flour. Heat a casserole dish with a film of oil and a knob of butter in it. Add the shin, lightly brown on all sides then take out. 
  • Discard the oil and butter from the pan, add a fresh knob, followed by the veg, and caramelise them slowly. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add some vinegar and de-glaze the pan (scrape the bits off the bottom), then reduce the sauce by two-thirds. Now add the Port, wine and Worcestershire sauce and reduce by half. Add the shin, bouquet garni and stock, bring to the boil and skim. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for four hours, skimming occasionally.
  • Check the beef is soft and tender, then remove from the liquid. Strain the liquid and vegetables through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Reduce to a saucy consistency, gently pull apart the shin into pieces, place back into the juice and bring back to the boil to serve. 
  • Serve with soft organic polenta, cooked in half water, half milk, and add parmesan

Previous page Next article
Recipe: Mocha-cinnamon pudding


Discuss this article

This article was a little disappointing. As someone with a gluten intolerance (not coeliac) I was interested to see that the chef behind these recipes was coeliac, and it was indicated that the following recipes would be gluten free. Not only was there a recipe featuring spelt, which has gluten, and one quick google search will tell you its definitely not safe for coeliacs, but the polenta recipe contains 'flour' on the ingredients list without any instructions for it to be gluten free, or even suggestions for what gluten-free readers could use as an alternative.

 Also, 50g of quinoa to go between four people? That's a bit stingy...

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 07:01

Polenta is also what the 'running tribe' eat - ugali/pinole etc and is discussed in Born To Run book. Excellent source of energy for long runs and if you get the right recipe it can be made and taken on long runs no problem - especially good if used in conjunction with chia seeds and cinnamon.

Pity out of 5 recipes 3 are salads - not exactly inspiring for cold winter days!

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 08:31

It's also funny how you never hear of "gluten intolerance", or allergies in poor countries, same as you never used to here. 

Idle rich, anyone?

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 22:26

You don't hear about them because they have already died as babies. I take it your just idle then?

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 07:13

Nice first post Martin. That told him. (albeit 3 months later.)
Posted: 19/06/2013 at 08:17


What an ignorant thing to say - It's what we have done to the process of manufacturing wheat that makes people so ill, if you don't know anything about an issue, it's probably best not to voice an opinion about it! 

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 22:01

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.