A cheap, but well-flavoured cut of beef, brisket comes from the shoulder of the cow and is usually sold boned and rolled. It needs long slow cooking to become meltingly tender and is ideal for braising or pot roasting with stock and vegetables. This recipe is perfect for a warming winter supper served with creamy mashed potato. Replace half the stock with a full bodied red wine for a richer gravy.
- 2tsp English mustard powder
- 1.4 kg piece brisket beef
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 12 large shallots, peeled
- 2 bacon rashers, chopped
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 600ml beef stock
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1tsp juniper berries
- 100g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Rub the mustard powder into the brisket and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the brisket in the hot oil, turning frequently. Remove and set aside.
Finely chop 2 of the shallots and add to the casserole with the rest of the oil and bacon. Fry for 5 mins then stir in the flour and cook for a further minute. Gradually stir in the stock and tomato puree and bring to the boil.
Return the brisket to the casserole with the carrots, whole onions, bay leaves, thyme and juniper berries. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 2½ hrs. Add the mushrooms to the casserole and return to the oven for a further 30-40 mins until the meat and vegetables are very tender.
If you prefer a thicker gravy, strain the hot cooking liquid into a pan and simmer for 10 mins until reduced by one-third.