|Braised brisket in Guinness with loads of|
mushrooms served with champ
I have never really understood why or when celebrating Saint Patrick's Day became more about food than drink, but in the spirit of exalting my Irish ancestry, I am cooking one of my favourite cheap cuts of meat, brisket, in a bit of the ruby stuff and lobbing on a little parsley, as a nod to the insane greenness of St Paddy's Day.
Brisket is a cheaper cut of meat, since its open-grained texture needs long, slow cooking. However, it is definitely worth the effort as the flavour is wonderful - deep and distinctly beefy. The gravy, after long slow cooking, was quite incredible. Obviously it had deep beef and mushroom flavours, but the Guinness brought a wonderful savoury caramel flavour. To be honest, I could have quite happily ditched the beef and sat curled up with a large bowl of buttery mashed potato topped with the mushrooms and cooking liquor. Absolutely divine.
|Braised brisket in Guinness with |
loads of mushrooms
Slow roasted beef brisket with carrots and mushrooms
Skill level: Easy
1.25kg boned and rolled brisket (unsalted)
large knob of butter
2 x large onions, halved and sliced
2-3 x celery sticks, finely chopped
2 x large carrots, sliced on the diagonal
300g large field mushrooms, thinly sliced (include the chopped stalks too)
1 x garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 x tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
a few fresh thyme sprigs
2 x bay leaves
1-2 tsp light muscovado sugar (depending on the bitterness of the beer)
half tsp ground mace
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Dijon mustard
a little stock (I used mushroom)
chopped fresh parsley, to serve (optional)
|Irish champ (mashed potatoes with |
- The night before cooking, place the brisket in a large bowl and pour over the Guinness. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, drain the meat, reserving the Guinness. Pat dry and season.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190c / Gas Mark 5.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the brisket so that it is lightly browned all over. Put on a lidded casserole dish or deep roasting pan, while cooking the vegetables.
- Using the same pan, add a knob of butter. Add the onions, celery and carrots and fry for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Tip in the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and reserved Guinness, together with the bay leaves, ground mace, thyme and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more sugar if necessary.
- Pour all the vegetables and liquid over the brisket. The liquid needs to come up to about two-thirds of the brisket. If it doesn't, add enough stock (I used mushroom but you could use beef or vegetable). Cover tightly with a lid or with kitchen foil.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 160C / Gas Mark 3 and continue to cook for 2 hours until tender. During the cooking, turn the brisket twice and make sure that the liquid isn’t drying out. Add a little more water or stock if necessary.
- Remove the beef and cover with foil, to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
- To serve, use a slotted spoon to remove vegetables and place in a warmed serving bowl. Add the mustard to the cooking juices and whisk to combine. Pour a little over the vegetables and the rest into a gravy jug to serve.
- Scatter a little finely chopped parsley over the vegetables.
- Serve with mashed potato (preferably colcannon - which is buttery mashed potato with kale or cabbage, or champ - mash with spring onions).
- Add some baby turnips to the casserole about 1 hour before the end of cooking.