Slow Cooked Brisket of Beef
with a Medley of Root Vegetables
~ Slow Sunday ~
Sunday 21st August 2011
Dimanche 21 Août 2011 ~ St Christophe
Daylight, bird song, scrunching toes in the anticipation of a relaxing day ahead ~ that’s me awaking slowly on a Sunday morning after a wonderful evening with friends; luxuriating in a rare “lie in”, the dishwasher has been emptied, the crockery and cutlery has been put away and today’s dinner is sorted, this is my kind of weekend morning……oh hang on…….something is not right……oh no……I scramble out of bed, stagger downstairs, pull on my wellies (Wellington boots) and stomp across the wet grass with my nightie trailing and flapping around in the heavy dew ~ I shout bonjour to a startled looking neighbour, (It’s official, all Brits are mad, I can see it in his eyes as he wanders in for a bowl of coffee to steady his nerves at such a sight.) and finally arrive at my destination, the HEN HUT! I forgot to let the hens out! I can hear them chuntering away inside, and when I open the door they SWOOP out in a flurry of feathers all wearing disgruntled looks on their peeved “henny” faces……
And then as if to get their own back on me in the most fowl way, they charge straight into my wild meadow flower garden to reek havoc on my flowers……I bet they don’t lay any eggs today to further spite me!
But I don’t care ~ because I can go back to bed with a cuppa and a book and have another snooze if I so desire, because I had the foresight to start dinner off last night, well in the early hours of the morning to be precise and there is a rolled brisket of beef slowly cooking in my slow cooker/crock pot and all is well on the culinary front. I put it on to cook on the lowest setting at 0200 in the morning ~ after the aforementioned crockery and cutlery clearing session, and it should be done by 1pm this lunch time. I also added onions, all sorts of root vegetables, a drop of wine and some seasoning……..recipe to follow. I shall serve this with a Romanesco cauli I have and that will complete the meal ~ very easy and very peasy!
It may seem a very Autumnal dish to serve in August, but the weather has been bizarre lately, swinging from hot and humid to cold and misty…….so, in the interests of pure greed and laziness, I have taken a risk and made a comfort dish that cooks all by itself ~ and judging by the weather, I may have been too pessimistic as the sun is out and the mercury is rising, but we are still going to enjoy this, and anyway, think of all that beef for sandwiches later on……..I love a beef and horseradish sarnie.
This is such a wonderful recipe, a meal in one pot actually although I do like the brighten the plate up with a bit of greenery such as cabbage or broccoli, and of course you can add potatoes for a real rib-sticking meal, perfect during the coldest of months…….but today, I am serving it with some Romanesco cauli ~ half for this meal and half to be cooked later, but that’s another recipe. I used a variety of roots ~ carrots, swede (rutabaga), turnip, parsnips and LOTS of onions.
If you don’t have a slow cooker/ crock pot, this is just as good when cooked in a low oven for about the same time, 8 to 11 hours ~ great for you Aga and Rayburn cooks out there; it DOES need slow cooking to ensure that the brisket becomes meltingly tender and soft, as well as the veggies, plus slow cooking really does add bags of taste and flavour to this dish. I have cooked this in my Godin wood-burning stove in the midst of Winter with great results.
Time for the recipe, so I can get on and relax some more……I have a busy week ahead, more guests arrive midweek and I will have to start making jams, jellies and chutneys with my garden fruit next week……so, today is a newspaper, book, TV and lounge lizard day, a “me” day and nobody is going to stop me!
(Serves 4-6 people)
1.5kg/3lb 5oz beef brisket joint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon English mustard powder, such as Colmans
4 onions, peeled and sliced into thick rings
6 carrots, peeled and cut into thick discs
1 small swede, peeled and diced into cubes
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into large discs
1/2 turnip, peeled and diced into cubes
150ml (1/4 pint) wine or ale, or water mixed with half a stock cube
1 teaspoon anchovy essence/sauce
1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup
Season the beef brisket generously with salt, black pepper and the mustard powder, rubbing it in well and all over the joint.
Place all of the root vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker/ crock pot.
Place the seasoned brisket of beef on top of the root vegetables; add the anchovy essence/sauce and mushroom ketchup to the wine/ ale or stock and pour it over the vegetables, being careful not to pour it over the seasoned beef brisket.
Turn the slow cooker/ crock pot into the “low” setting and cook for between 8 and 11 hours; the time varies according to the make, size and type of slow cooker/crock pot.
Serve piping hot with the gravy juices and steamed greens and/or potatoes on the side.
See you later, oh yes, my phone is off the hook and I am not answering the door!! BUT, I will be back with more daily ramblings and recipes tomorrow.
PS: My early morning teaser of that Yorkshire Pudding loaded with meat ~ see previous post, was a trick! It is NOT a slow Sunday meal, but a post slow Sunday meal ~ easy and quick to make, recipe to follow……