This has got to be my favourite roast so far. Brisket is such a bargain cut of beef, £8 for just over a kilogram that will stretch to at least six servings – you can’t go wrong!
Not only is it cheap, it’s also damn yummy. Intensely meaty and extremely tender, as long as you cook it gently you can’t really muck this roast up. I’ve had a lot of horrible roast beef dinners in my time, to the point I’d never order it out, however I genuinely think anyone could make this. And the leftovers are even better…
Here I’ve made a simple stew with the leftover meat and gravy, bulking it with veg and pearl barley. Great as it is, even better topped with pastry to make the most comforting pie. I’m also told the leftover meat is amazing in things like a chilli – something for next time!
- Brisket, approx 1kg (I buy it rolled)
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 bunch rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Beef stock (1 litre)
- For the stew: carrots, onion, celery, pearl barley, extra mustard/seasoning, leftover meat/gravy and any other veg you fancy.
Heat the oven to around 170C, and bring the brisket to room temperature. Heat a little oil in a casserole dish and brown the brisket well, before spreading with mustard, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the veg to the bottom of the pan, top with the brisket and sprinkle with rosemary.
Add around 75ml of water to the pan, then dampen a piece of greaseproof paper. Press the paper around the beef, then seal the pan with two layers of tin foil. Roast for 3-4 hours, checking mid-way through to ensure the pan hasn’t dried out.
Remove the beef from the pan and place on a warm plate, before wrapping in foil to rest. Pop the pan on the hob and add the flour, stirring to form a paste. I always try to mash up the veg into the gravy at this stage for some extra flavour too. Then gradually add the stock, seasoning with the balsamic. Simmer for around 5-10 minutes then strain through a sieve.
For a leftover stew, simply dice up the veg and soften in a little oil. I like to cook them down slowly at this stage until they are nice and caramelised. Add the pearl barley, meat and gravy (don’t break up the meat, just add it in big pieces as it will break up as it continues to cook), and simmer for around 90 minutes – make sure you stir occasionally as the pearl barley does like to stick at the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning, adding more mustard, balsamic etc to taste. If it’s a little thick add more stock, add a cornflour paste if it’s too thin.
I was going to finish this post with a recipe for rough puff pastry – but it failed miserably and virtually melted to my worktop. Just don’t ask. I will say that the stew is excellent with emergency chip shop chips though! And ready-made shop-bought pastry of course…
Are you a fan of roast beef? Have you ever cooked with brisket before?