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Slow-roast beef brisket with potatoes and onions

Brisket’s open-grained texture and depth of flavour make it perfect for slow cooking. Don’t let the butcher trim off too much fat – a certain amount is needed in order to achieve the final, full-bodied result. It makes an easy Sunday lunch – you’ll need to put the meat into the oven first thing in the morning, but then you can more or less leave it alone until lunchtime. Use any leftovers for sandwiches during the week.

Method

Put the tied brisket in a large roasting tin and tuck the garlic and thyme inside and under it. Massage the oil into the meat, then season well with salt and pepper. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and roast for 30 minutes, then take it out of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 140°C/Gas Mark 1, cover the meat with foil and return it to the oven for 4 hours, by which time it should be very tender.

Baste the meat with its fatty juices, add the potatoes and onions to the roasting tin and toss them in the juices too. Turn the oven up to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and cook, uncovered, for a further hour, until the joint has crisped up and the spuds and onions are cooked through.

Serve the beef in thick slices, with the potatoes and onions. There won’t be much in the way of juices, as they will have been absorbed by the veg, but any that remain should be spooned over the meat.

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Ingredients

  • 2–2.5kg piece of boned, rolled beef brisket, tied with string
  • 4–5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • A good handful of thyme sprigs
  • 2–3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1–1.2kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 3–4cm chunks
  • 500g small onions or shallots, peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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