As I mentioned in my blog birthday post last week, the three most popular posts on my blog since I started it just over a year ago are all slow-cooked meaty dishes (from pork belly to lamb shanks to BBQ pulled pork). And I’m not one to deny my readers what they want! Today I have something that you might not have cooked or even eaten before, but if you like pulled pork then you’re going to love this. Brisket is a cut from the lower chest of beef, and is a muscle that works hard so needs gentle, slow cooking in order to tenderise it. It is a relatively cheap cut of beef, so a great option for when you’re cooking a roast for a crowd.
I first cooked this recipe last year when I scribbled it down to take on a weekend holiday with friends (I got the original recipe from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall article, but now I can’t find it…however I will pop a link up here when I come across it again). I knew at the time that it would be a great recipe to blog about, but holidays aren’t the time to be photographing a recipe step-by-step and it was gobbled up so quickly that there wasn’t even time for an end-result picture – definitely a sign of a recipe worth sharing.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into wedges
4 sprigs of rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
English or Dijon mustard
Large glass of red wine
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp corn flour
1 beef stock cube, made up with 300ml boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pot and generously season the beef all over with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, place the beef in the pot and brown on all sides.
2. Turn the beef so that it is fat side up and nestle the vegetables, rosemary and garlic cloves around it.
3. Spread the top of the beef with mustard and pour the red wine into the bottom of the pot, along with a large glass of water. Put a lid on the pot and cook in the oven for 5 hours, basting the beef with the surrounding liquid once an hour. Add a little extra water if necessary during the cooking time.
4. After 5 hours remove the beef and leave to rest on a warmed serving plate, covered with foil and a dish towel.
5. As it rests, put the pot back on the hob and heat until the remaining liquid starts to bubble. Add the corn flour and stir to combine. Slowly add the stock until the gravy is the consistency that you like. Strain.
As the brisket is so tender, it will easily be shredded using two forks so no carving is necessary (can I hear cries of delight?!). I served the beef brisket with mashed potatoes, which I think is essential when you have a rich gravy on the side, and steamed cabbage slathered in butter and generously sprinkled with black pepper.
This dish would also go perfectly with the traditional Sunday roast trimmings of roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings, but unless you have a second oven then the timings can get tricky since the beef cooks at such a low temperature. Either way, I promise you are going to love this cut of beef for Sunday dinner as much as a flashy sirloin cut. Humble and delicious.