braised brisket in guinness with loads of mushrooms

Braised brisket in Guinness with loads of
mushrooms served with champ
Did you know that the famous Irish stout, Guinness, is actually a deep burgundy red colour and not black at all? Officially it is ruby red, one of my favourite colours, whether it is what I wear, the colour of my hair, the flowers in the garden, or just a pint!

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
This really is a fabulous dish, and not just for Saint Paddy's Day!

Slow roasted beef brisket with carrots and mushrooms

Serves 6
Skill level: Easy

1.25kg boned and rolled brisket (unsalted)
600ml Guinness
vegetable oil
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
spring onions)

  1. 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.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 190c / Gas Mark 5.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove the beef and cover with foil, to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
  9. 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.
  10. Scatter a little finely chopped parsley over the vegetables.
  11. 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. 


Petra said...

I have never cooked with brisket but reading this I realize I need to give it a go!
I love mushrooms and this looks wonderful! I could almost taste it reading the recipe!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Oooh, thank you Petra!

I do love brisket, and leftovers make great sandwiches. My only sadness is that because you have to cook low and slow you can't have it rare. On the plus side it is delicious. If I had a choice I would probably put mushrooms with everything!

Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand said...

Belated warm wishes for St. Pat's Rachel! What a wonderful dish and so beautifully presented. Earthy mushrooms meets tender Guinness infused beef = Happy Dinner guests all round!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Cheers Jacqueline! Happy guests and happy me. There was enough gravy leftover for me to have a rather satisfying lunch of spuds and gravy!

Andrew Davies said...

Brisket is brilliant and so cheap. Couple that with Guinness and you're onto a winner. Done this before myself and love it. Makes brilliant salt beef as well.