Foodie fashion is a funny thing, in recent years all of the maximum flavour yet minimum cost cuts have become en vogue, with notable restaurants serving them up to eager customers. Think pork belly, pig, beef & ox cheeks, game and offal – from hearts to tongues. Now this is the kind of fodder I was brought up on, for the taste and frugal factor; feeding a family well on a budget takes a lot of ingenuity, and a good dollop of skill and sourcing.
To the point, I have not noticed Brisket coming up in general chatter, which is a shame. Brisket is a beautiful cut with a good ration of fat to give the meat extra flavour and keep it moist and succulent.
Unfortunately, brisket is not so much of a bargain as it used to be, although is still great value when compared with more popular beef joints. The cold cuts are fabulous with creamed horseradish in a sandwich, or cut up and added to stir-fries. So treat this beauty with respect and you can enjoy at least two hearty meals for a family of four, with enough for sandwiches too.
The following recipe is a great one pot dish, resulting in soft juicy brisket, delicious sweet and earthy vegetables, and beautiful gravy – serve with mashed potato and a bottle of Merlot for a tasty treat.
Prep Time – 15minutes
Cook Time – 3 hours + 15mins resting
Serves – 6 – 8
1 ½ kg rolled beef brisket
12 shallots (or a large onion, peeled and chopped)
12 chantenay carrots (or 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped)
6 fat cloves of garlic
250ml of beef or veal stock
Glass of red wine, approx 200ml (I used a deep, fruity Merlot)
2 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp olive oil & tbsp of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to gas mark 2, 150C, 300F
- Peel and trim your shallots and carrots.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil with the butter over a medium heat until bubbling. Add your beef and sear on all sides, browning and turning as you go.
- Once the beef has a lovely golden colour, place it in the roasting tin you will be using for cooking.
- Add the shallots and carrots to the frying pan to brown very slightly in the cooking fat, then, once golden transfer to the roasting pan with the beef
- Add the glass of wine to the frying pan to ‘deglaze’ the pan and allow to reduce by half.
- Once the wine is reduced add your stock to just warm through, when it starts to bubble, add the liquid to your roasting tin with all of the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
- Place a tight fitting lid on your roasting pan or secure tightly with tin foil. Place on the hob and just warm through until you can hear the liquids bubbling, then transfer to the middle of the oven and roast for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove your beef and vegetables to a warm plate and cover within tin foil, rest for 15-20 minutes in a warm part of the kitchen, to allow all of the juices in the meat to disperse.
- Whilst the meat is resting, place your roasting pan on top of the hob on a medium heat, reducing the pan juices a little before serving. If you prefer thicker gravy, mash a tablespoon of soft butter with a tablespoon of plain flour; add a little to your gravy at a time and whisk in vigorously, cooking for a few minutes until adding more until desired thickness is reached.
- Carve the meat, removing the string as you go (this helps to keep the meat intact when carving), serve with the vegetables and spoon over the gravy. I like to serve this dish with mashed potato to squeeze the garlic onto and mash in – lovely.